Beudin Alexis

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  • Article
    Spectral wave dissipation by submerged aquatic vegetation in a back-barrier estuary
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2017-01-11) Nowacki, Daniel J. ; Beudin, Alexis ; Ganju, Neil K.
    Submerged aquatic vegetation is generally thought to attenuate waves, but this interaction remains poorly characterized in shallow-water field settings with locally generated wind waves. Better quantification of wave–vegetation interaction can provide insight to morphodynamic changes in a variety of environments and also is relevant to the planning of nature-based coastal protection measures. Toward that end, an instrumented transect was deployed across a Zostera marina (common eelgrass) meadow in Chincoteague Bay, Maryland/Virginia, U.S.A., to characterize wind-wave transformation within the vegetated region. Field observations revealed wave-height reduction, wave-period transformation, and wave-energy dissipation with distance into the meadow, and the data informed and calibrated a spectral wave model of the study area. The field observations and model results agreed well when local wind forcing and vegetation-induced drag were included in the model, either explicitly as rigid vegetation elements or implicitly as large bed-roughness values. Mean modeled parameters were similar for both the explicit and implicit approaches, but the spectral performance of the explicit approach was poor compared to the implicit approach. The explicit approach over-predicted low-frequency energy within the meadow because the vegetation scheme determines dissipation using mean wavenumber and frequency, in contrast to the bed-friction formulations, which dissipate energy in a variable fashion across frequency bands. Regardless of the vegetation scheme used, vegetation was the most important component of wave dissipation within much of the study area. These results help to quantify the influence of submerged aquatic vegetation on wave dynamics in future model parameterizations, field efforts, and coastal-protection measures.
  • Article
    Quantification of storm-induced bathymetric change in a back-barrier estuary
    (Springer, 2016-07-26) Ganju, Neil K. ; Suttles, Steven E. ; Beudin, Alexis ; Nowacki, Daniel J. ; Miselis, Jennifer L. ; Andrews, Brian D.
    Geomorphology is a fundamental control on ecological and economic function of estuaries. However, relative to open coasts, there has been little quantification of storm-induced bathymetric change in back-barrier estuaries. Vessel-based and airborne bathymetric mapping can cover large areas quickly, but change detection is difficult because measurement errors can be larger than the actual changes over the storm timescale. We quantified storm-induced bathymetric changes at several locations in Chincoteague Bay, Maryland/Virginia, over the August 2014 to July 2015 period using fixed, downward-looking altimeters and numerical modeling. At sand-dominated shoal sites, measurements showed storm-induced changes on the order of 5 cm, with variability related to stress magnitude and wind direction. Numerical modeling indicates that the predominantly northeasterly wind direction in the fall and winter promotes southwest-directed sediment transport, causing erosion of the northern face of sandy shoals; southwesterly winds in the spring and summer lead to the opposite trend. Our results suggest that storm-induced estuarine bathymetric change magnitudes are often smaller than those detectable with methods such as LiDAR. More precise fixed-sensor methods have the ability to elucidate the geomorphic processes responsible for modulating estuarine bathymetry on the event and seasonal timescale, but are limited spatially. Numerical modeling enables interpretation of broad-scale geomorphic processes and can be used to infer the long-term trajectory of estuarine bathymetric change due to episodic events, when informed by fixed-sensor methods.
  • Article
    Physical response of a back-barrier estuary to a post-tropical cyclone
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2017-07-27) Beudin, Alexis ; Ganju, Neil K. ; Defne, Zafer ; Aretxabaleta, Alfredo L.
    This paper presents a modeling investigation of the hydrodynamic and sediment transport response of Chincoteague Bay (VA/MD, USA) to Hurricane Sandy using the Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere-Wave-Sediment-Transport (COAWST) modeling system. Several simulation scenarios with different combinations of remote and local forces were conducted to identify the dominant physical processes. While 80% of the water level increase in the bay was due to coastal sea level at the peak of the storm, a rich spatial and temporal variability in water surface slope was induced by local winds and waves. Local wind increased vertical mixing, horizontal exchanges, and flushing through the inlets. Remote waves (swell) enhanced southward flow through wave setup gradients between the inlets, and increased locally generated wave heights. Locally generated waves had a negligible effect on water level but reduced the residual flow up to 70% due to enhanced apparent roughness and breaking-induced forces. Locally generated waves dominated bed shear stress and sediment resuspension in the bay. Sediment transport patterns mirrored the interior coastline shape and generated deposition on inundated areas. The bay served as a source of fine sediment to the inner shelf, and the ocean-facing barrier island accumulated sand from landward-directed overwash. Despite the intensity of the storm forcing, the bathymetric changes in the bay were on the order of centimeters. This work demonstrates the spectrum of responses to storm forcing, and highlights the importance of local and remote processes on back-barrier estuarine function.
  • Article
    Development of a coupled wave-flow-vegetation interaction model
    (Elsevier, 2016-12-15) Beudin, Alexis ; Kalra, Tarandeep S. ; Ganju, Neil K. ; Warner, John C.
    Emergent and submerged vegetation can significantly affect coastal hydrodynamics. However, most deterministic numerical models do not take into account their influence on currents, waves, and turbulence. In this paper, we describe the implementation of a wave-flow-vegetation module into a Coupled-Ocean-Atmosphere-Wave-Sediment Transport (COAWST) modeling system that includes a flow model (ROMS) and a wave model (SWAN), and illustrate various interacting processes using an idealized shallow basin application. The flow model has been modified to include plant posture-dependent three-dimensional drag, in-canopy wave-induced streaming, and production of turbulent kinetic energy and enstrophy to parameterize vertical mixing. The coupling framework has been updated to exchange vegetation-related variables between the flow model and the wave model to account for wave energy dissipation due to vegetation. This study i) demonstrates the validity of the plant posture-dependent drag parameterization against field measurements, ii) shows that the model is capable of reproducing the mean and turbulent flow field in the presence of vegetation as compared to various laboratory experiments, iii) provides insight into the flow-vegetation interaction through an analysis of the terms in the momentum balance, iv) describes the influence of a submerged vegetation patch on tidal currents and waves separately and combined, and v) proposes future directions for research and development.
  • Article
    Sensitivity analysis of a coupled hydrodynamic-vegetation model using the effectively subsampled quadratures method (ESQM v5.2)
    (Copernicus Publications on behalf of the European Geosciences Union, 2017-12-08) Kalra, Tarandeep S. ; Aretxabaleta, Alfredo L. ; Seshadri, Pranay ; Ganju, Neil K. ; Beudin, Alexis
    Coastal hydrodynamics can be greatly affected by the presence of submerged aquatic vegetation. The effect of vegetation has been incorporated into the Coupled Ocean–Atmosphere–Wave–Sediment Transport (COAWST) modeling system. The vegetation implementation includes the plant-induced three-dimensional drag, in-canopy wave-induced streaming, and the production of turbulent kinetic energy by the presence of vegetation. In this study, we evaluate the sensitivity of the flow and wave dynamics to vegetation parameters using Sobol' indices and a least squares polynomial approach referred to as the Effective Quadratures method. This method reduces the number of simulations needed for evaluating Sobol' indices and provides a robust, practical, and efficient approach for the parameter sensitivity analysis. The evaluation of Sobol' indices shows that kinetic energy, turbulent kinetic energy, and water level changes are affected by plant stem density, height, and, to a lesser degree, diameter. Wave dissipation is mostly dependent on the variation in plant stem density. Performing sensitivity analyses for the vegetation module in COAWST provides guidance to optimize efforts and reduce exploration of parameter space for future observational and modeling work.