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The influence of tides, waves, and overtopping on the near-shore water table


Pflotran was used to model the water table response to tides and wave effects in the first couple hundred meters inland from the shoreline. Unlike previous analytical solutions and many numerical models, Pflotran can take into account both the fully and partially saturated zones, irregular boundary shapes, and time-varying boundary conditions such as wave setup and overtopping in addition to the regular tidal harmonics. This research demonstrates the effect of several soil and beach characteristics and the importance of considering all forcings coming together to create boundary conditions. Specifically, the influence of waves and wave overtopping represented by ponding on the beach surface prove to be significant. Field data from Cardiff State Beach quantifies the significant improvement gained by including all of these effects.

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