Field evidence of swash groundwater circulation in the microtidal rousty beach, France

Damien Sous, Lise Petitjean, Frédéric Bouchette, Vincent Rey, Samuel Meulé, Francois Sabatier, Kévin Martins

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20 Citations (SciVal)
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This manuscript reports on a novel field experiment carried out on a microtidal beach in Camargue, France. For the first time in the field, a comprehensive description of the groundwater dynamics under sandy beach swash zone is presented. A cross-shore network of 15 buried pressure sensors is combined with terrestrial LiDAR measurements to study the swash-groundwater dynamics. The presented data focus on the decay of a moderate storm which allows to monitor the evolution of the groundwater pressure field in response to the retreat of the swash zone. Both horizontal and vertical head gradients are measured within the porous sand soil to estimate the groundwater flow field using Darcy's law. Time-averaged analysis demonstrates the presence of a rather consistent groundwater circulation pattern under the swash zone, shifting offshore with the swash zone. The main tendency is an offshore directed flow, with infiltration/exfiltration in the upper/lower parts of the swash zone. Time-resolved analysis highlights the typical groundwater response to swash events which consists mainly of an overall infiltration flow during the bed inundation by the swash tongue, a seaward flow during the swash retreat and, for long backwash events, a localized exfiltration flow under the next incoming uprush.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)144-155
Number of pages12
JournalAdvances in Water Resources
Early online date17 Sept 2016
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2016


  • Groundwater circulation
  • Porous media
  • Sand beach
  • Swash zone


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