An Assessment of Swash Excursion Predictors using Field Observations

Abstract

Accurate predictions of swash excursion are fundamental for improving the understanding of swash zone dynamics and for coastal management and hazard applications. Researchers have provided several formulas for predicting the swash excursion on sandy beaches. However, the problem of the universality of these formulas is still open. In fact, it is not clear whether the existing formulations are applicable to a wide range of beaches and wave conditions. This study verifies 13 existing swash (total, incident and infragravity) formulations using 13 published experiments (636 swash measurements). The experiments were carried out on beaches worldwide (dissipative intermediate and reflective) under a wide range of wave conditions (including extreme events). Results show that formulas behave differently with under and over prediction. However, some trends can be recognized, which are indeed critical for coastal hazards and management applications: generally, for large swash events (swash >1.5 m) large scatter are found for all formulas. During extreme conditions (swash>2.5 m) total and incident swash are strongly underestimated, while infragravity swash varies for each formula. The maximum errors and the root mean square errors can exceed 2.5 m and 1 m, respectively

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