The development of a probabilistic approach to forecast coastal change

By:  and 
Edited by: Julie D. RosatiPing Wang, and Tiffany M. Roberts



This study demonstrates the applicability of a Bayesian probabilistic model as an effective tool in predicting post-storm beach changes along sandy coastlines. Volume change and net shoreline movement are modeled for two study sites at Fire Island, New York in response to two extratropical storms in 2007 and 2009. Both study areas include modified areas adjacent to unmodified areas in morphologically different segments of coast. Predicted outcomes are evaluated against observed changes to test model accuracy and uncertainty along 163 cross-shore transects. Results show strong agreement in the cross validation of predictions vs. observations, with 70-82% accuracies reported. Although no consistent spatial pattern in inaccurate predictions could be determined, the highest prediction uncertainties appeared in locations that had been recently replenished. Further testing and model refinement are needed; however, these initial results show that Bayesian networks have the potential to serve as important decision-support tools in forecasting coastal change.

Additional publication details

Publication type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Title The development of a probabilistic approach to forecast coastal change
ISBN 978-981-4355-52-0
DOI 10.1142/9789814355537_0140
Year Published 2011
Language English
Publisher World Scientific
Contributing office(s) Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center
Description 14 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Conference publication
Larger Work Title The proceedings of the Coastal Sediments 2011
First page 1853
Last page 1866
Conference Title Coastal Sediments 2011
Conference Location Miami, FL
Conference Date May 2-6, 2011