Natural Hazards

, Volume 49, Issue 2, pp 371–385 | Cite as

Application of wave transformation models for estimation of morphological changes at Vellar estuary, southeast coast of India

  • M. V. Ramana Murthy
  • Y. Pari
Original Paper


Assessment of the wave climate at near coast is vital for estimation of morphological changes, such as growth of sand spit and associated siltation of tidal inlets. Vellar (bar-built) estuary is one of the prominent estuaries along the southeast coast of India, located at 11°30′N and 79°46′E, less studied in terms of its morphological features. The inlet of Vellar is exposed to high energetic waves, inducing large sediment transport rates and shoreline changes. Local wave characteristics are not accurately defined and the available wave information at near coast is limited (point based observations). In the present study, three decoupled numerical models are employed to derive the monthly nearshore wave climate at Vellar by transforming waves from deep water to nearshore. These models are independently validated with buoy observations in deep water and wave gauge data at nearshore. Based on the nearshore wave data, littoral drift along the coast was estimated and compared with the spit growth at Vellar inlet. The estimated average littoral drift along this coast from February to October is 1.93 × 106 m3 toward north and from November to January it is 1.52 × 106 m3 toward south, resulting in a net northerly drift. Results indicated that increase in the wave energy during the period of July to September is responsible for the maximum growth of the sand spit observed in the field.


Wave model Sand spit Littoral drift Tidal inlet Sediment transport 



The authors gratefully acknowledge Dr BR Subramanian, Advisor, Ministry of Earth Sciences for his support and his valuable guidance throughout this work. We also thank Prof. JS Mani for his advice and suggestions.


  1. Berkhoff JCW, Booy N, Radder AC (1972) Verification of numerical wave propagation models for simple harmonic linear water waves. Coast Eng 6(3):255–279. doi: 10.1016/0378-3839(82)90022-9 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Danish Hydraulic Institute (DHI) (2001) User manual and reference guide for MIKE21. DHI, Horsholm, DenmarkGoogle Scholar
  3. Dyer KR, Ramamoorthy K (1969) Salinity and water circulation in the Vellar estuary. Limnol Oceanogr 14:4–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. CEM (2005) Coastal engineering manual. U S Army Corps of Engineers, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  5. Holthuijsen LH, Booij N, Ris RC, Haagsma IJG, Kieften ATMM, Krieziee EE (2000) Swan user manual, Swan cycle III, Version 40.11. Department of Civil Engineering, Delft University of Technology, GA Delft, The NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
  6. Kirby JT, Dalrymple RA (1994) Combined refraction/diffraction model REF/DIF1, Version 2.5: documentation and user’s manual, CACR Report No. 94-22. Centre for Applied Coastal Research, University of Delaware, Newark, DEGoogle Scholar
  7. Komen GJ, Cavaleri L, Donelan M, Hasselmann K, Hasselmann S, Janssen PAEM (1994) Dynamics and modelling of ocean waves. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, MA, p 520CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Monbaliu J, Padilla-Hern’andez R, Hargreaves JC, Albiach JCC, Luo W, Sclavo M, Gu¨nther H (2000) The spectral wave model, WAM, adapted for applications with high spatial resolution. Coast Eng 41:41–62. doi: 10.1016/S0378-3839(00)00026-0 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Pari Y, Ramana Murthy MV, Jaya kumar S, Subramanian BR, Ramachandran S (2008) Morphological changes at Vellar estuary, India—impact of the December 2004 tsunami. J Environ Manag 89:45–57CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Petersen D, Deiggaard R, Fredsoe J (2008) Modelling the morphology of sandy spits. Coast Eng 55:671–684CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Integrated Coastal and Marine Area Management (ICMAM)ChennaiIndia

Personalised recommendations