Physical Oceanography, Vol.
2, July, 2011 (Ukrainian Original No.
2, March–April, 2011)
AN OVERVIEW OF BEACH MORPHODYNAMIC CLASSIFICATION
ALONG THE BEACHES BETWEEN OVARI AND KANYAKUMARI,
SOUTHERN TAMILNADU COAST, INDIA
P. Sheik Mujabar,
and C. Hentry
Beach morphology relates the mutual adjustment between topography and fluid dynamics. The morpho-
logical makeup of beach systems is not accidental because the arrangement and association of forms oc-
cur in an organized contextual space and time. Since the classification derived by Wright and Short
(1983) from the analysis of the evolution in a number of Southern Tamilnadu beach sites, beach systems
are comprehended in terms of three-dimensional morphodynamic models that include quantitative pa-
rameters (wave breaking height, sediment fall velocity, wave period, and beach slope) and boundary
conditions for definable form-processes association (e.g., the presence or absence of bars as well as their
types). This has led to the classification of beaches into three main categories relating the beach state
observations with the physical forcing (Short, 1999) dissipative, intermediate (from the intermediate–
dissipative domain to the intermediate-reflective domain), and reflective modes. The morphodynamic
classification of beach types was based on the Wright–Short equations (1984) (dimensionless fall veloc-
Keywords: beach, Wright–Short equations, waves, morphodynamic, India.
Beach type will occur under certain ranges of waves and grain size parameters under the assumption that the
beach will fully respond to governing parameters, which may take days (e.g., associated with storm periods) or
to about a year (e.g., modifications of sediment size and type by nourishment projects) (Benedet et al., 2004). In
this way, limitations in applying the Wright–Short approach are a recognized particularity for intermediate phase
prediction. Wright et al. (1987) found only 36% of agreement between observed and predicted beach states.
This classification is quantified by means of a dimensionless fall velocity parameter, which is defined as
is the wave breaking height, T is the wave period, and
is the sediment fall velocity.
Here we describe and discuss the morphodynamics of the beaches, based on the results obtained by cross
shore beach profile surveys and in situ observations of the beaches in the last two years. The main goal of this
paper is to elucidate the beach morphodynamic sequence and the classification of beaches in Southern Tamil-
Center for Geotechnology, Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, Tirunelveli, Tamilnadu, India.
Corresponding author; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published in Morskoi Gidrofizicheskii Zhurnal, No.
57–71, March–April, 2011. Original article submitted December 14, 2009;
revision submitted January 28, 2010.
0928–5105/11/2102–0129 © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 129