Shore-normal breakwaters are constructed in coastal zones both for beach protection (erosion reduction) and port development (wave sheltering). These breakwaters have an effect on the waves, the (wave-driven) currents and hence, the sediment transport along the coast. The waves a
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Shore-normal breakwaters are constructed in coastal zones both for beach protection (erosion reduction) and port development (wave sheltering). These breakwaters have an effect on the waves, the (wave-driven) currents and hence, the sediment transport along the coast. The waves and tide force an equilibrium sediment transport along the coast in a natural unaltered coast. When breakwaters are constructed this sediment transport in the alongshore direction is (partially) blocked. This results in accretion at the updrift side of the breakwater and coastline retreat at the lee-side. Coastal erosion behind a breakwater can result in floods, destroy property or simply narrow the beach. Not only the short term effects of these structures (what happens during and short after construction) is important to know, also the long term effects need to be known; because the breakwaters are build for decades coastal influence of these breakwaters needs to be known for these time-scales as well. Therefore it is relevant to investigate the scale (in time and space) of these adverse effects beforehand.

In coastal engineering, numerical models are used to predict the impact of coastal constructions like breakwaters. High detailed models which take for all physical processes into account will result in accurate predictions but result in large computation times. Simplified models have smaller computation times and are more suitable for coastal impact predictions on larger spatial (10 - 100 km) and temporal (decades) scale. The objective of the thesis is to improve the coastline change predictions of models at decadal scale by reviewing the common practice and a new, very fast, module for lee-side wave computations and investigating different wave processes that can improve the wave modelling. This research will focus on (1) understanding of what wave processes are important for the coastline change and (2) advise on what models to use for which conditions and how to the improve model predictions.

The approach of this thesis is triple. First five different modelling approaches for wave modelling are compared, varying in computation time and usability, to a very accurate model that will be used as ground truth. The wave conditions will vary in direction and both wind waves and swell waves will be modelled. From this step de accuracy of these models for different wave conditions can be analyzed. The second step is to get an better understanding of the processes that are involved with the wave modelling. This information can be used to improve the accuracy of model approaches with high computation times. The last step is to see how this relates to sediment transport and thus the coastline change at the lee-side of a breakwater.

This can be concluded after the investigation of 3 wave model (SWASH, SWAN and the Kamphuis module)

SWAN model approach is for cases with wind waves a good model approach: the wave height, wave direction and the sediment transport are well representative. Also the setup differences are very similar to the ground truth model.

SWAN is not very accurate for cases with a small directional spreading. For these cases the diffraction is more important and there is not enough wave energy in the sheltered area nor is the wave direction well represented.

Kamphuis with Snellius (refraction) is for the case with a wide directional spreading, given the computation speed, pretty good. For the cases with a small directional spreading the wave height is not accurate.

The conclusions related to the influence of the wave processes are:

The refraction is investigated by comparing the Kamphuis module (which does not incorporate refraction) with the ground truth model. When Snell's law was applied to the kamphuis module the model results did show good results. Therefore the refraction is (especially outside the sheltered zone) very important to the wave direction.

There is a large difference for cases with small and large directional spreading. The SWAN model gives results can can be expected when no diffraction is present. Directional spreading both influences the wave height directly behind the breakwater as well as the influence lengt of the breakwater.

Diffraction does not play an important role for wind waves. The large directional spreading results in much smaller energy differences between the sheltered and the non-sheltered zone. Even SWAN without diffraction gives a good representation for wind waves. For swell waves however this is very different.Then diffraction is very important. There is a much larger difference in wave energy between the shelterd and the non-shelterd zone and for a good representation a model that can coop with diffraction is a must.

Current induced refraction of the waves has influences for waves of an incoming agle 0 to 30 degrees because this will result in rip currents along the breakwater that turn the waves up to an extra 10 to 15 degrees.

The relative sediment transport of the five modelling aproaches was also analyzed. The sediment transport proxy for the five modelling approaches showed that SWAN computes the wave height and direction well for wind waves. For swell waves however the model did not show good results. The reason is that there is no diffraction in SWAN, the diffraction computations with SWAN did not show much improvements either.

The sediment transportation proxy for the Kamphuis module with Snellius where expected to be good for wind waves, because the wave height and wave direction where well represented. However the length of the erosion pit was much smaller and also the shape of the erosion pit is very different from the other two models.