Evolution of bedforms on the inner-shelf
Dixon, Damon Beecher
Thornton, Edward B.
Stanton, Timothy P.
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Observations of the temporal evolution of the wave-formed ripples are analyzed in terms of geometric properties. Three weeks of bedform observations were obtained using underwater video of a sheet of laser light projected on the bed at the Monterey Bay Inner Shelf Observatory in thirteen-meter depth water. The bed consists of fine sand (mean grain size 0. 12 mm). Low to moderate narrow-band swell waves occurred during the observation period. Ripple geometry consisted of orbital and suborbital vortex wave ripples, and relic ripples left after larger wave events. The bedforms generally changed size and shape when the grain roughness Shields parameter exceeded a critical value of 0.04. Ripple migration was offshore at rates of 2-10 cm/day during active sediment transport events. Skewness of velocities (low and high passed) were calculated to explain offshore ripple migration, but showed no preferred direction. Mean currents were weak. Significant positive (offshore) correlation was obtained between the short-wave envelope and infragravity waves indicating wave-group forced bound long waves (surf beat) combined with stirring by the short waves might explain the offshore sediment transport and ripple migration
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