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The Grand Popo beach 2013 experiment, Benin, West Africa: from short timescale processes to their integrated impact over long-term coastal evolution

Rafael Almar, Norbert Hounkonnou, Edward J. Anthony, Bruno Castelle, Nadia Senechal, Raom Laibi, Trinity Mensah-Senoo, Georges Degbe, Mayol Quenum, Matthieu Dorel, Remy Chuchla, Jean-Pierre Lefebvre, Yves du Penhoat, Wahab Sowah Laryea, Gilles Zodehougan, Zacharie Sohou, Kwasi Appeaning Addo, Raimundo Ibaceta and Elodie Kestenare
Journal of Coastal Research
SPECIAL ISSUE NO. 70. PROCEEDINGS OF THE INTERNATIONAL COASTAL SYMPOSIUM 2014 (April 2014), pp. 651-656
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/43291028
Page Count: 6
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Abstract

The first large nearshore field experiment in the Gulf of Guinea was conducted at Grand Popo Beach, Benin, in February 2013, on an open wave-dominated micro-to meso-tidal coast, located mid-way between Cotonou and Lome harbours. The overall project aims at understanding at multi-scale (from event to interannual) the causes of the dramatic erosion observed throughout the Bight of Benin, and caused by the interaction of a large littoral drift with human engineering works. Grand Popo 2013 experiment was designed to measure the processes over the short term and to test the ability of an installed video system to monitor the evolution of this stretch of coast over the longer term. The beach, characterized by a low-tide terrace and a high tide reflective part, experiences a long swell (Hs=1.6 m, Tp=16 s, oblique incidence ~15-20°). Topographic surveys showed a double beach cusp system interaction and repeated surf-zone drifter runs revealed high flash and swash rip activity driven by wave dissipation over the terrace and energetic swash dynamics at the upper reflective beach. Swash was measured over a cusp system at two locations using video poles. Wave reanalyses (ERAInterim) were used to determine the wave climate and its variability, and to quantify sediment transport. This robust methodology is thought to be replicated elsewhere in different coastal environments in West Africa, in particular with the objective to monitor various sites within the framework of the new West African Coastal Observatory.

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