Wave-induced sediment mobility on a morphologically complex continental shelf: eastern Brazilian shelf

  • Ana Amélia Lavenère-Wanderley
  • Eduardo SiegleEmail author


Wave-induced sediment mobility and transport are important issues regarding seabed stability and sediment balance on continental shelves. This study compares the near-bed velocity induced by waves with the critical orbital velocity for sediment mobility to determine the threshold exceedance for non-cohesive sediment motion on a portion of the eastern Brazilian continental shelf. Based on a 13-year wave time series, dominant wave climate has been used as boundary conditions in a wave propagation model. The region presents complex continental shelf morphology, varying north to south from a narrow shelf with coastal parallel isobaths to a wide shelf with irregular isobaths. The wave orbital velocities, which vary from 0 to 1.4 m s−1, are capable of mobilizing sediment across almost the entire continental shelf area, since the critical bottom sediment velocity required for potential sediment mobility varies from 0.11 to 0.13 m s−1 Such findings are of great relevance to gain a better understanding of the sediment dynamics in this area that hosts several reef banks, and that has been recently affected by a large environmental disaster through the failure of a tailing dam that resulted in an increase in contaminated sediments that have spread into the ocean.



We would like to thank the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) for the scholarship provided to Ana Amelia Lavenère-Wanderley. Eduardo Siegle is a CNPq research fellow. Authors are grateful to Fibria that provided the measured wave data used in the numerical model calibration. These data were obtained by Fibria through monitoring programs required by the Federal Environmental Licensing process (IBAMA). The authors also thank DHI for making the numerical model MIKE21 available for this study.

Funding information

The study was also partially funded by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior - Brazil (CAPES - Finance Code 001).

Supplementary material

367_2019_580_MOESM1_ESM.docx (67 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 66 kb)


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto OceanográficoUniversidade de São PauloSão PauloBrazil
  2. 2.Departamento de Ciências Agrárias e AmbientaisUniversidade Estadual de Santa CruzIlhéusBrazil

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