The intertidal beach profile provides coastal engineers and managers with a good indication of the current state of a sandy coastline, however regular beach profile measurements are time consuming and expensive to obtain using conventional surveying methods. The potential to reconstruct the intertidal beach profile from measurements of reflected waves is tested here using three field datasets covering a different range of hydro-morphological conditions from dissipative, to reflective. The swash is found to behave as a low-pass filter on reflected waves, with a cut-off frequency that primarily depends on the swash slope. An agreement is found between video-derived swash spectrum saturation tail and the shortest reflected waves, computed from deep water directional wave measurements. By integrating this swash slope over a tidal cycle, the shape of the intertidal beach profile can be reconstructed. Our results clearly show the potential of such method to estimate complex intertidal beach profile, such as double-slope beaches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-63
Number of pages6
JournalCoastal Engineering
Early online date7 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2019


  • Beach slope
  • Cut-off frequency
  • Nearshore
  • Reflection
  • Runup
  • Wave spectrum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Ocean Engineering


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