Climate change-driven cliff and beach evolution at decadal to centennial time scales

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Here we develop a computationally efficient method that evolves cross-shore profiles of sand beaches with or without cliffs along natural and urban coastal environments and across expansive geographic areas at decadal to centennial time-scales driven by 21st century climate change projections. The model requires projected sea level rise rates, extrema of nearshore wave conditions, bluff recession and shoreline change rates, and cross-shore profiles representing present-day conditions. The model is applied to the ~470-km long coast of the Southern California Bight, USA, using recently available projected nearshore waves and bluff recession and shoreline change rates. The results indicate that eroded cliff material, from unarmored cliffs, contribute 11% to 26% to the total sediment budget. Historical beach nourishment rates will need to increase by more than 30% for a 0.25 m sea level rise (~2044) and by at least 75% by the year 2100 for a 1 m sea level rise, if evolution of the shoreline is to keep pace with rising sea levels.

Publication type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Title Climate change-driven cliff and beach evolution at decadal to centennial time scales
Year Published 2017
Language English
Publisher Coastal Dynamics 2017
Publisher location Helsingør, Denmark
Contributing office(s) Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center
Description 12 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Conference publication
Larger Work Title Proceedings Coastal Dynamics 2017
First page 125
Last page 136
Conference Title Coastal Dynamics 2017
Conference Date June 12-16, 2017
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