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Equilibrium shoreline response: Observations and modeling

Abstract : [1] Shoreline location and incident wave energy, observed for almost 5 years at Torrey Pines beach, show seasonal fluctuations characteristic of southern California beaches. The shoreline location, defined as the cross-shore position of the mean sea level contour, retreats by almost 40 m in response to energetic winter waves and gradually recovers during low-energy summer waves. Hourly estimates of incident wave energy and weekly to monthly surveys of the shoreline location are used to develop and calibrate an equilibrium-type shoreline change model. By hypothesis, the shoreline change rate depends on both the wave energy and the wave energy disequilibrium with the shoreline location. Using calibrated values of four model free parameters, observed and modeled shoreline location are well correlated at Torrey Pines and two additional survey sites. Model free parameters can be estimated with as little as 2 years of monthly observations or with about 5 years of ideally timed, biannual observations. Wave energy time series used to calibrate and test the model must resolve individual storms, and model performance is substantially degraded by using weekly to monthly averaged wave energy. Variations of free parameter values between sites may be associated with variations in sand grain size, sediment availability, and other factors. The model successfully reproduces shoreline location for time periods not used in tuning and can be used to predict beach response to past or hypothetical future wave climates. However, the model will fail when neglected geologic factors are important (e.g., underlying bedrock limits erosion or sand availability limits accretion).
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Marissa Yates, R. Guza, W C O 'Reilly. Equilibrium shoreline response: Observations and modeling. Journal of Geophysical Research, American Geophysical Union, 2009, 114 (C9), pp.9014 - 9014. ⟨10.1029/2009JC005359⟩. ⟨hal-01785296⟩

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