Sediment Transport Pathways & Connectivity

Where does sediment go?  Where does it come from?

Can we better understand coastal sediment transport pathways by analyzing experimental tracer or drifter studies in the field and developing Lagrangian particle tracking models? Can we use a “connectivity” approach to aggregate and interpret this information?

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Relevant Publications

  1. Pearson, S.G., van Prooijen, B.C., Elias, E.P.L, Vitousek, S., & Wang, Z.B. (2020). Sediment Connectivity: A Framework for Analyzing Coastal Sediment Transport Pathways. Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface. [Link]
  2. Pearson, S.G., van Prooijen, B.C., Poleykett, J., Wright, M., K. Black, K., Wang, Z.B. (2021). Tracking fluorescent and ferrimagnetic sediment tracers on an energetic ebb-tidal delta to monitor grain size-selective dispersal.  Ocean & Coastal Management. [Link].
  3. Pearson, S.G., Elias, E.P., Roelvink, F., *Lambregts, P., Wang, Z.B., van Prooijen, B.C. (2021). Lagrangian Sediment Transport Modelling as a Tool for Investigating Coastal Connectivity [Oral Presentation]. Coastal Dynamics 2021, June 2021. [URL].
  4. de Wit, F.P., Tissier, M.F.S., Pearson, S.G., Radermacher, M., van de Ven, M.J.P., van Langevelde, A.P., Vos, T.A., Reniers, A.J.H.M. (2018). Measuring the spatial and temporal variability of currents on Ameland Ebb-Tidal Delta [Poster]. NCK Days Conference, March 23 2018, Haarlem, the Netherlands. [Link]

Relevant Student Projects (Co-)Supervised

  1. Lars KrikkeImpact of the Eastern Scheldt Storm Surge Barrier on sediment transport pathways. Nov 2021 – Present. In cooperation with Deltares and Rijkswaterstaat.
  2. Carlijn MeijersSediment transport pathways in Burrard Inlet. Mar 2021 – Dec 2021.  In cooperation with Deltares, Kerr Wood Leidel, and Tsleil Watuth Nation. [Link].
  3. Paula LambregtsSediment bypassing at Ameland inlet and the role of an ebb-tidal delta nourishment. Sep 2020 – Jun 2021. In cooperation with Deltares and Rijkswaterstaat. Chair: Zheng Bing Wang. [Link].
  4. Laurie van Gijzen. Sediment Transport Pathways in San Francisco Bay. [Link]. Apr 2019 – Mar 2020.  In cooperation with Deltares. 
  5. Michelle Gostic. Sediment Transport Pathways in San Francisco Bay [Link]. Feb 2018 – Jul 2018. In cooperation with Deltares.

Relevant Blog Posts

Tracking Sand that Hides from the Sun

Keeping Dutch feet dry is mainly done by placing piles of sand along the coast as “nourishments”. These nourishments build out the beaches and dunes to act as a protective buffer against storms. However, as was recently pointed out by an official at Rijkswaterstaat, the Dutch water ministry, the Hamvraag or “bacon question” is still…

Sediment Pathways on Ebb-Tidal Deltas

After 5 years of blood, sweat, and tears, I present to you my PhD thesis: Sediment Pathways on Ebb-Tidal Deltas: New Tools and Techniques for Analysis! I will defend my PhD on March 8th. How do sand and mud move around on our coasts?  This is a question that we need to answer in order…

Sediment Pathways in Vancouver

In the past few weeks, Vancouver and the BC Lower Mainland have suffered not just one but three record-breaking rainstorms, a succession of ”atmospheric rivers” that dumped several hundred millimetres of rain. Highways washed out and disappeared, and numerous communities were flooded. This resulted in an enormous quantity of sediment reaching the sea via the…

Sediment Pathway Detective Work

Ebb-tidal deltas are gigantic piles of sand that form at the seaward mouth of tidal inlets. They are constantly on the move, shifting shape and size in response to the waves and tides. Where exactly is that sand going? This is a question I have been struggling with for the past 5 years during my…

Keeping it Connected Around the World

It has been a crazy year, but work-wise I am on the final stretch, at least. Tonight at the ungodly hour of 12am CET, I will present my poster at the American Geophysical Union conference. It is at a much more reasonable 3pm PST in California where the conference organizers are located. If you have…


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