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Review of Coastal Tidal Inlet Morphodynamics in the Context of Barrier-Inlet Sustainability

Descriptive Note:

Technical Report

Corporate Author:

U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center Vicksburg United States

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This Coastal and Hydraulics Engineering special report is a general overview of coastal tidal inlet morphodynamics, sediment management practices, and barrier-inlet system sustainability at long-term, regional scales. The focus of coastal tidal inlet morphodynamics in this report is on the primary managed resource, coastal littoral sediments, which are the primary substrate for coastal barrier islands and tidal inlet sediment systems. Management practices concerned with sustainability are discussed with a temporal focus on planning horizons of 50 to 100 years. Special considerations are offered on how past coastal zone management has evolved the understanding of natural and anthropogenically modified geomorphic features and how perspectives have changed with regards to the sustainability of management practices for these sediment systems. Over longer timescales, such as centuries, the impacts of eustatic sea-level rise, climate change e.g., storm intensity and frequency, long-term cross-shore and longshore sediment transport patterns, geologic isostacy and subsidence, and other important processes affect tidal inlet dynamics. Long-term studies conducted at regional spatial scales, including adjacent barriers and multiple inlets, are necessary to evaluate the cumulative effects of the aforementioned processes along with the effects of anthropogenic modifications, such as ebb-tidal delta mining and beach placement, to barrier-inlet sustainability.

Subject Categories:

  • Hydrology, Limnology and Potamology
  • Marine Engineering

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