Effects of sea level rise on coastal evolution

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Abstract

Using the Dutch coastal evolution in the Holocene upto the present as an example and a test case, a coastal evolution concept is proposed and materialized with which shoreline position changes for different sea level rise scenarios are predicted. The (more generally applicable) model applies to (quasi-)uniform coastal stretches. It accounts for morphodynamic processes from the shelf to the first dune-row, and integrates over coastal units of approximately 10 km alongshore length. The added value compared to earlier published concepts or models lies in the full inclusion of cross-shore and alongshore processes, and in the distinction between a - with respect to sea level rise - instantaneously responding active zone and a noninstantaneously responding central shoreface zone. Relevant differences have been found to exist between closed and interrupted coastal stretches. An important conclusion is that the cross-shore effective Bruun-effect is only of limited importance. This is especially true in the case of the interrupted coast. Longshore sand transport gradients are very important there. This is mainly connected with the sand demand which is placed on coastal stretches adjacent.

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