Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2020, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (7): 1179-1194.doi: 10.1007/s11442-020-1776-x

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Beach morphodynamic characteristics and classifications on the straight coastal sectors in the west Guangdong

DING Yuanting1(), YU Jitao2,*(), CHENG Huangxin3   

  1. 1. School of Environmental Studies, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430074, China
    2. School of Surveying and Land Information Engineering, Henan Polytechnic University, Jiaozuo 454000, Henan, China
    3. Department of Landscape Architecture, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430074, China
  • Received:2019-03-21 Accepted:2019-09-09 Online:2020-07-25 Published:2020-09-25
  • Contact: YU Jitao E-mail:ddyjt
  • About author:Ding Yuanting, PhD, specialized in coastal environment. E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    National Science Foundation of China(41301005);National Science Foundation of China(41701011);Postdoctoral Science Foundation of China(2014M552118);China Scholarship Council(201608410419)


Currently beach morphodynamic classification is the most important foundation to conduct associated coastal geomorphological studies. This paper carried out beach morphodynamic classifications for 12 straight beaches on headland-bay coasts based on field survey and evaluated the applicability of the most widely used dimensional fall velocity parameter (Ω) and relative tidal range parameter (RTR). One reflective, five intermediate and six non-barred dissipative beaches were visually classified and sand size seemed to be a key factor to differentiate these beaches. The studied beaches were in relatively low wave energy environments (Hs < 1 m) and the absolute deep-water wave energy level of P0 = 3 KWm-1 was supposed to a critical threshold to characterize the applicability of the Ω and RTR parameters. These two morphodynamic parameters were applicable for the beaches with P0 > 3 KWm -1 and MSR < 2 m. It was found that the model of the traditional winter-and-summer profiles was not applicable in the study area in despite of distinct wave seasonality. The studied beaches were more possible to hover around a limited range due to relatively low background wave environments and variability without considering typhoon impacts, which needs further research on actual breaker wave conditions and beach morphodynamic type responses to typhoon events.

Key words: beach morphodynamic type, dimensionless fall velocity, relative tidal range, wave power level, straight beaches