A Criterion for Determining the Impact on Shorelines Caused by Altering Wave Transformation


  • Jerome P.-Y. Maa
  • Carl H. Hobbs, III
  • C. Scott Hardaway Jr.


Breaking wave height modulation, Sandbridge Shoal, Virginia Beach, longshore sediment transport rate.


An evaluation of the possible influence of man-made changes to wave transformation processes at a particular site requires an extensive modeling effort that yields quantitative results suitable for decision-making. Analysis of a proposed offshore sand mining project at Sandbridge Shoal, near Virginia Beach, Virginia, serves as an example of such an evaluation. Using the criterion established in this study, it is demonstrated that the originally proposed separation of the sand resource into two dredging sites will cause unfavorable results at the shore. A favorable alternative is proposed which will reduce breaking wave height modulation along the coast, and thus, the gradient of longshore sediment transport rate.