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May 2014

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Sand transport under broken waves

The surfzone is characterized by breaking waves and bores, which inject large amounts of turbulence into the water column. This turbulence is organized in vortices, that travel downward towards the bed. When these vortices reach the bed, they can entrain sand and hold it in suspension. This contrasts strongly with the situation in deeper water, where the near-bed orbital motion is the main source of sand suspension.