Numerical investigation of swash–swash interaction effects on beachface evolution using Nonlinear Shallow Water Equations

Fangfang Zhu, Nicholas Dodd

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review


This paper presents a numerical investigation of multiple identical swash events to study the swash–swash interaction processes and their impacts on beachface evolution. The numerical model, based on the Nonlinear Shallow Water Equations, is first calibrated/validated against two different single-event-based data-sets. Multiple swash events are generated by identical solitary waves separated by different time intervals, to achieve weak and strong wave-backwash interactions. After a small number of weak interaction events the main feature is erosion from lower and mid swash region and deposition seaward of the swash in a bed-step, created by a backwash bore, primarily due to bed-load. As the number of waves increases, the strength of this backwash bore reduces because of the reduced beach slope caused by the growing bed-step. This eventually leads to a net quasi-equilibrium between bed- and suspended-load per period in most of the swash and surf zones. For strong interaction, initial bed evolution per event is much slower, due to interactions, and is bed load dominated. A quasi-equilibrium is also established as the influence of suspended load grows. Overall bed change per period within the domain eventually converges in both cases. Final bed profiles (i.e. after the same elapsed time, but different numbers of waves) are fairly similar, both with an offshore swash bar. Both profiles continue to evolve on the offshore side of this bar. However, this evolution is driven by suspended load for the weak interactions and bed load for strong interactions. The implication is that similar swash morphological features can emerge from different swash processes, and also be maintained distinctly.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104546
JournalAdvances in Water Resources
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023


  • Beachface evolution
  • Nonlinear Shallow Water Equations
  • Swash event
  • Swash interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology


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