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Cursus: GEO4-4434
Morphodynamics of Wave-dominated Coasts
Cursus informatie
Studiepunten (ECTS)7,5
Categorie / NiveauM (Master)
CursustypeCursorisch onderwijs
Aangeboden doorFaculteit Geowetenschappen; Graduate School Geowetenschappen; M Earth Sciences;
Contactpersoonprof. dr. B.G. Ruessink
Contactpersoon van de cursus
prof. dr. B.G. Ruessink
Overige cursussen docent
3  (03-02-2020 t/m 17-04-2020)
TimeslotA: MA-ochtend, DI-namiddag, WO-ochtend
Cursusinschrijving geopendvanaf 28-10-2019 08:00 t/m 24-11-2019 23:59
Inschrijven via OSIRISJa
Inschrijven voor bijvakkersJa
Na-inschrijving geopendvanaf 20-01-2020 08:00 t/m 21-01-2020 23:59
Please note: the information in the course manual is binding.
By the end of the course, the student:
  • Has gained an in-depth, quantitative understanding of wave statistics (including time series analysis), wave transformation, wave-induced sand transport, and morphological evolution in wave-dominated coasts;
  • Has learned the programming language Matlab and is able to apply Matlab in assignments related to time series analysis, modelling and data-model comparison;
  • Has obtained insight in modelling approaches for waves and wave-driven morphodynamics on time scales from hours to decades;
  • Is able to critically read scientific literature and to position detailed research results in the broader picture of coastal research;
  • Has acquired knowledge on the management of the Dutch wave-dominated coastal zone.
Wind-generated waves are the main driving force for the evolution of the nearshore zone (water depths less than 10 m) on time scales of hours (storms) to decades. As waves approach the coast, they transform by altering, among other characteristics, shape, height, length, and orientation. This results in a wide variety of other processes, including alongshore currents and rip currents. Also, it leads to the transport of sand perpendicular to and along the coast. As a consequence, the morphology of the nearshore zone changes continuously as the offshore wave conditions change with time and when mankind intervenes with coastal processes, for example, by artificially placing sand to enhance coastal safety. This makes the nearshore zone one of the most dynamic and complicated regions within the oceanic domain.

Main topics of the course include:
  • cross-shore transformation of wind-generated waves, and the resulting currents;
  • sand transport and morphological evolution;
  • modelling of waves, currents, and sand transport;
at a range of time scales (hours - decades) and in natural and humanly altered wave-dominated coastal settings. The later setting provides the student with insight into issues related to present-day coastal zone management.

The topics will be treated by means of lectures and computer assignments. As part of the course, the student is expected to apply/develop Matlab code to analyse scientific data and to compare these data to model predictions. This will provide the student with insight into present-day capabilities of models used in both scientific and coastal-zone-management settings, and with basic Matlab programming skills.
The course contributes to the following transferable skills:
  • Ability to work in a team: All computer assignments are performed in teams of 2 persons. Although each team is to provide a report, co-operation between teams during the assignments is encouraged.
  • Written communication skills: Results of all computer assignments are presented in reports.
  • Problem-solving skills: The teams have to define a strategy how to implement code to solve allocated scientific questions.
  • Analytical/quantitative skills: The students have to use the developed code, together with knowledge from the lectures, to answer allocated scientific questions.
  • Technical skills: The students will (further) develop their programming skills for data analysis and modelling.
Je moet voldoen aan de volgende eisen
  • Toelatingsbeschikking voor de master toegekend
Basic familiarity with coastal processes, statistics, physics and Matlab programming.
Voorkennis kan worden opgedaan met
Useful courses from the Utrecht BSc Earth Sciences are Morphodynamics of Coastal Systems (GEO3-4306) and Fluid Mechanics 1 (GEO3-4307). Preliminary experience with programming can be obtained in the MSc courses River and delta systems (GEO4-4436) and Morphodynamics of tidal systems (GEO4-4435).
Bronnen van zelfstudie
A self-study quick-guide to Matlab will be made available to students without previous programming knowledge. The student needs to carry out this self-study prior to the start of the course. We know from experience that students with ample knowledge of Python will find the switch to Matlab straightforward. Students cannot use Python in the course.
Verplicht materiaal
van Rijn, L.C., 2011. Principles of fluid flow and surface waves. AquaPublications, 900 pp. (provided by the course coordinator)
Holthuijsen, L.H., 2007. Waves in oceanic and coastal waters. Cambridge University Press (available online)
Journal papers and Matlab manual: provided on BlackBoard


Voorbereiding bijeenkomsten
Reading literature and answering associated questions.

Minimum cijfer-

The final mark is based on an assessment of the computer assignments (50%) and the final exam (50%).

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