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The roles of flow acceleration and deceleration in sediment suspension in the surf zone

June 11, 2019

Prediction of sediment suspension in the surf zone remains elusive. We explore how suspended sediment concentration at 19 cm above the bed in the mid-surf zone during a storm is influenced by flow acceleration and deceleration. There is a tendency for higher suspended sediment concentrations during onshore flow, with decelerating onshore flows having higher concentrations than steady, accelerating, or reversing flows. The development of models that exploit information on flow acceleration, deceleration, and flow reversal may lead to improved ability to predict suspended sediment transport in the surf zone and resulting geomorphic changes.