Experiment on pile fence to enhance dune resiliency

Quan, Rebecca
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University of Delaware
A beach with a berm and dune provides storm protection but wave overtopping and overwash of the dune may lead to dune breaching and inundation. Piles placed linearly along the toe of the dune may reduce dune erosion and overwash. This study will explore whether piles can be used to make dunes more resilient against storm surge and waves. Six small-scale laboratory tests were conducted to observe the effect of pile fence porosity, location and pile toppling. It is recommended that a pile fence porosity of 0.5 or less be used to obtain significant increase in dune resiliency. Presence of the pile fence may increase offshore sediment transport resulting in more deposition in the surf zone. The pile fence should be placed near the dune toe to reduce wave uprush on the dune foreslope and to minimize pile toppling due to wave action. The results of this study will be replicated in the numerical model CSHORE. The pile fence effects have been incorporated in CSHORE as the drag force acting on the wooden dowels. The verified CSHORE may be used for field applications.