In this paper, transport pathways for coarse sediments were studied on an artificial pebble beach located at Marina di Pisa (Tuscany, Italy). Radio frequency identification (RFID) technology was used to trace the pebbles. The RFID technique is an inexpensive and reliable methodology that is used to address sediment displacement along the coastline. The use of low-frequency radio signals (125. kHz) enabled the detection of the marked pebbles within a range of 40. cm on the underwater and subaerial portions of the beach. About one hundred pebbles were sampled on the beach and paired with passive transponders. The tracers were released along a series of cross-shore transects (March 2009). The pebbles were injected on the fair-weather berm, on the swash zone, and on the step crest along each transect. The recovery campaign was carried out in May 2009. Fifty-three pebbles were detected; this number is rather high given the intensity of the three storms that hit the coast during the period of the experiment and the significant reworking that this beach is subjected to even under fair-weather conditions. The analysis of the tracer pathways highlighted twofold convergent longshore movement on the beach. The trajectories indicated that the longshore movement dominated the cross-shore movement, but there was no prevailing transport direction. To explore the morphology of the sea bottom fronting the beach, a topographic survey was carried out using an echo sounder. The survey showed the presence of two distinct shoals 20. m off the coastline that are responsible for the resulting coarse sediment transport. These results confirm that even mild sea bottom irregularities may significantly affect sediment transport dynamics along a beach, suggesting that accurate planning for defense schemes such as artificial coarse replenishment must begin with an in-depth knowledge of the morphology of the sea floor. Such information may increase the durability and/or the efficiency of the intervention.

Transport trajectories of “smart” pebbles on an artificial coarse-grained beach at Marina di Pisa (Italy): Implications for beach morphodynamics

Bertoni D.;SARTI, GIOVANNI;
2012-01-01

Abstract

In this paper, transport pathways for coarse sediments were studied on an artificial pebble beach located at Marina di Pisa (Tuscany, Italy). Radio frequency identification (RFID) technology was used to trace the pebbles. The RFID technique is an inexpensive and reliable methodology that is used to address sediment displacement along the coastline. The use of low-frequency radio signals (125. kHz) enabled the detection of the marked pebbles within a range of 40. cm on the underwater and subaerial portions of the beach. About one hundred pebbles were sampled on the beach and paired with passive transponders. The tracers were released along a series of cross-shore transects (March 2009). The pebbles were injected on the fair-weather berm, on the swash zone, and on the step crest along each transect. The recovery campaign was carried out in May 2009. Fifty-three pebbles were detected; this number is rather high given the intensity of the three storms that hit the coast during the period of the experiment and the significant reworking that this beach is subjected to even under fair-weather conditions. The analysis of the tracer pathways highlighted twofold convergent longshore movement on the beach. The trajectories indicated that the longshore movement dominated the cross-shore movement, but there was no prevailing transport direction. To explore the morphology of the sea bottom fronting the beach, a topographic survey was carried out using an echo sounder. The survey showed the presence of two distinct shoals 20. m off the coastline that are responsible for the resulting coarse sediment transport. These results confirm that even mild sea bottom irregularities may significantly affect sediment transport dynamics along a beach, suggesting that accurate planning for defense schemes such as artificial coarse replenishment must begin with an in-depth knowledge of the morphology of the sea floor. Such information may increase the durability and/or the efficiency of the intervention.
2012
Bertoni, D.; Sarti, Giovanni; Benelli, G; Pozzebon, A; Raguseo, G.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/153604
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