Application of Decadal Modeling Approach to Forecast Barrier Island Evolution, Dauphin Island, Alabama

Open-File Report 2020-1001
Prepared in cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, The Water Institute of the Gulf, and the University of North Carolina at Wilmington
By: , and 



Forecasting barrier island evolution provides coastal managers and stakeholders the ability to assess the resiliency of these important coastal environments that are home to both established communities and existing natural habitats. This study uses an established coupled model framework to assess how Dauphin Island, Alabama, responds to various storm and sea-level change scenarios, along with a suite of restoration measures, over the course of a decade. The coupled model framework uses validated models for long-term alongshore sediment transport (Delft 3D), short-term storm induced impacts (XBeach), as well as dune building and recovery (empirical dune growth model). This model framework was simulated with the various storm and sea-level change scenarios on a non-restored Dauphin Island, then a subset of the storm and sea-level change scenarios were applied to a suite of seven different restoration measures to determine how they would influence the morphologic evolution over a decadal period. Topographic and bathymetric changes captured in post-simulation digital elevation models were then passed on to partners for various simulations to determine the effects on habitat evolution and water quality as it relates to oyster reef and submerged aquatic vegetation.

Suggested Citation

Mickey, R.C., Godsey, E., Dalyander, P.S., Gonzalez, V., Jenkins, R.L., III, Long, J.W., Thompson, D.M., and Plant, N.G., 2020, Application of decadal modeling approach to forecast barrier island evolution, Dauphin Island, Alabama: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2020–1001, 45 p.,

ISSN: 2331-1258 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Potential Restoration Measures Tested in Forecast
  • Sea Level Projections and Forecast Storm-Set Generation
  • Scenario Generation Summary
  • Coupled Forecast Model Framework
  • Results
  • Forecast Model Framework Summary
  • References Cited
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Application of decadal modeling approach to forecast barrier island evolution, Dauphin Island, Alabama
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 2020-1001
DOI 10.3133/ofr20201001
Year Published 2020
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center
Description Report: viii, 45 p.; Data Release
Country United States
State Alabama
Other Geospatial Dauphin Island
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) Y
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details