Novel observations of bar features and migration patterns at three Italian sandy beaches in Senigallia (central Adriatic Sea) and Terracina (central Tyrrhenian Sea) are presented. While two of these beaches are unprotected, one is artificially embayed through the presence of a concrete jetty. Bar locations and motions are analysed with video imagery data sets from coastal monitoring stations. Wave climate from the Copernicus oceanographic model is used to correlate hydrodynamics and beach morphology. Clear net offshore migration (NOM) patterns are identified at all beaches, although exhibiting different response scales. At the low-slope beach of Senigallia (mean surf zone slope of 0.009) bars are more sensitive to seasonal changes in wave climate, with offshore shifts in winter and inactivity in summer. Mean annual migration rates of up to 0.26 m/day and 0.09 m/day are observed for outer and inner bars, respectively. No significant response to single storms is observed, except during a single NNE storm. No distinct erosive or accretive trend for the shoreline is evidenced. At the steep beach of Terracina (mean surf zone slope of 0.018), conversely, bars are strongly responsive to single storm events, with displacements of up to 25–50 m across a single storm. The mean inter-annual migration rate is 0.08 m/day for the single/outer bar, whereas a slight onshore trend (-0.02 m/day) for the newborn inner bar is established. The presence of an artificial jetty at the Misa river mouth in Senigallia, finally, leaves the bar system, typically oscillating around an equilibrium position, susceptible to larger seasonal oscillations and strong offshore migration due to two ESE storm events. Numerical simulations of nearshore circulation for two storms from different directions predict the birth of longshore currents, higher ratios of significant wave height to water depth, and stronger bottom orbital velocities over bars in case of the ESE storm, suggesting a greater tendency for offshore-directed sediment transport.
Sandbar dynamics in microtidal environments: Migration patterns in unprotected and bounded beaches / Melito, Lorenzo; Parlagreco, Luca; Perugini, Eleonora; Postacchini, Matteo; Devoti, Saverio; Soldini, Luciano; Zitti, Gianluca; Liberti, Luca; Brocchini, Maurizio. - In: COASTAL ENGINEERING. - ISSN 0378-3839. - ELETTRONICO. - 161:(2020), p. 103768. [10.1016/j.coastaleng.2020.103768]