INDIA project





The INDIA project involved a multi-institute, multi-disciplinary study of the interacting hydrodynamic and morphodynamics occurring at tidal inlet entrances and along adjacent coastlines and with the twin aims of improving understanding of complex interactive coastal processes and validating numerical models. Owing to the complexity and scale of such systems and the availability of limited resources, the project used a combination of state-of-the-art and innovative fieldwork equipment, including remote sensing devices, as well as a range of three dimensional numerical models to provide information on wind, wave, surge, tide and sediment movement at a particular European coastal site (Barra Nova Inlet, southern Portugal), which covers a range of environmental conditions, including significant aeolian transport.

Specifically, the INDIA project addresses the following research areas: updrift sediment transport flux and mechanisms; inlet by-passing mechanisms for sediments; inlet hydrodynamics (i.e. tidal asymmetry and the implications for the sediment budget); modification of surface wave amplitude, form and direction by the flood/ebb deltas and by an inlet; flood/ebb delta dynamics; sediment flux through an inlet; overwash processes and contribution to sediment budget; aeolian processes, interactions with the beach and contribution to sediment budget; and improved understanding of surf zone processes. In pursuit of these objectives, a number of areas of innovation can be identified in the INDIA project: high resolution rapid bathymetric surveys of the study area using LASER technology; HF, VHF and wave Radar measurements of surface currents and waves; monitoring and measurement of surf zone hydrodynamics using a video system; ADV and PIV observations of turbulence in the surf zone and tidal channel; sediment transport measurements using multi-frequency acoustics; near-bed hydrodynamics and sediment dynamics using autonomous tripods; use of integrated instrument packages to measure hydrodynamic and sediment parameters at offshore locations; and in situ observations of bedforms in the surf zone and offshore using a mobile instrument platform equipped with hydrodynamic and suspended sediment sensors and video camera.

Modelling activities relateD observed wind, tide, surge and wave processes with the observed sediment transport, bedform migration bathymetry and beach/dune profiles within the bounds of the study area using the following numerical models: 2DH hydrodynamic model of the lagoon; quasi 3D offshore hydrodynamic model; wave models; quasi-3D hydrodynamics and nearshore sediment model; lDV hydrodynamics and sediments bottom boundary layer model; 2DV surf/swash zone model; and 2DV aeolian transport model.

Modelling was utilised in order to provide cross-checks on field data quality, model boundary conditions for inshore modelling and to aid in the study of physical processes and in the prediction of inlet response to changes in sediment supply, wave climate and sea level.


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