The physical impact of offshore dredging on the reclamation area at the Changhwa coast, Taiwan, is investigated using a three-dimensional movable-bed model test. A distorted modeling law consisting of maintaining similarity of the equilibrium beach profile between the model and prototype is proposed. The geometric distortion was verified through a series of preliminary experiments conducted in a wave flume. Experimental results show that the distorted modeling is able to reproduce the beach-face slope in nature. An appropriate long-term morphological time-scale was determined based on a comparison of model longshore littoral transport rates and equivalent prototype values. Seabed topographical changes before and after offshore dredging are evaluated in model tests. A suitable countermeasure to prevent beach erosion from wave attack along the reclamation area is suggested from the experimental results. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.