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Net sEaward Sand Transport during major Storms (NESTS)
Start date: 01 Oct 2008, End date: 31 Jul 2011 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"The aim of ``Net sEaward Sand Transport during major Storms’’ (NESTS) is to investigate the mechanisms and to estimate the amount of cross-shore sediment transport beyond the coastal zone (>~100 m depth) during major storms (wind speed > 6 m/s, wave height > 4 m). The classical hypothesis suggests that the definitive loss of sand (the visible coastal erosion) originates mainly from alongshore flux. New observations, instead, show that, in addition to the alongshore transport, there are events of sand transport also cross-shore outside the coastal zone. The net seaward sand transport represents the amount of sand that does not contribute anymore to the coastal morphodynamics. The present proposal addresses one of the main environmental concern for the European Union. Coastal erosion represents a danger constantly increasing, considering that almost half the European population lives along the coast and that the frequency of violent storms increases because of climate change. The novelty introduced by NESTS is the realization of one of the first detailed data set of observed cross-shore sediment transport measurements during storms at various locations. The observed data will be used to describe the NESTS events at the desired sites. Moreover, the collected data will be available to other European groups through the website www.gladys-littoral.org. Starting from this experience, the data collected can be used to initialize the first European coastal monitoring network which will be integrated by the data from other European groups. We plan to estimate (1) the seaward sediment flux during storms; (2) the atmospheric thresholds and the morphological conditions that lead to NESTS events; (3) the dominant forcing during NESTS (wind generated currents, wave currents, infragravity waves, etc…) using in situ observations from upward-looking ADCPs (Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler), ADV (Acoustic Doppler Velocimeter), pressiometer nets, sediment traps, wind-waves buoy."
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