Louisiana coast experiences significant erosion due to wave actions. The loss of beaches in some coastal areas in Louisiana is severe. There are wetlands and marshes located in the coastal areas. Wetland loss is a major threat to the coast areas. 3D numerical simulations of wave-levee interactions were conducted, and the results were analyzed to determine the flow characteristics and surface shear distributions. The simulation setup is exactly the same as an experiment conducted in a wave tank facility. The velocity histories on different locations near the test levee surface were compared, and the agreement is very good, therefore the simulation is validated. A test levee system was also constructed on a test Gulf beach site, approximately 4.6 miles west of Holly Beach in Cameron Parish, Louisiana. Long term observation of erosion was conducted, and survey data showing the change of the test levee were produced. From the observations, the loss of this portion of Gulf beach is significant during the 2-year research period. Real-time images were recorded to show this significant change in topography. The losses of the levee materials during the entire project period were quantified based on the survey data. The history of the loss was plotted. It indicates some major storm event contributed to significant losses and erosion of the test structure. It can be seen from the results that the real-time erosion pattern on the test site agrees reasonably with the surface shear patterns from the simulations. In the numerical simulation, commercial package ANSYS-FLUENT was used. A free-surface flow model is adopted with open channel wave boundary conditions. A grid-independence study was performed to determine to appropriate grid resolution to be used in the simulation. Parallel computing was conducted due to the expensive cost of this 3D simulation with relatively fine grid resolutions.

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