Water Science and Engineering 2019, 12(3) 221-234 DOI:   https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wse.2019.09.007  ISSN: 1674-2370 CN: 32-1785/TV

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 Storm sequences
Beach morphodynamics
Beach erosion
Extreme storms
Return period
Beach recovery   

Morphodynamics of sandy beaches under the influence of storm sequences: Current research status and future needs

Sonja Eichentopf a, *, Harshinie Karunarathna b, José M. Alsina c

a Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Imperial College London, South Kensington Campus, London SW7 2AZ, UK
b College of Engineering, Swansea University, Bay Campus, Swansea SA1 8EN, UK
c Laboratori d'Enginyeria Marítima, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona 08034, Spain


This paper reviews and discusses the current research status, trends, and future needs in the field of beach morphodynamics under the influence of storm sequences. The paper reviews how the three main research methods, field investigations, numerical modelling, and physical modelling, have been used to study beach morphodynamics during storm sequences. Available quantitative definitions of storm sequences at different sites are presented and discussed. It is shown that the definition of storm sequences is site-specific and requires knowledge of the storm climate, beach characteristics, and the temporal scale of beach recovery. The paper then brings together currently available approaches aimed at describing the effect of storm sequences on beach erosion in a general way. The importance of storm chronology and the effects of an extreme storm within a sequence of storms are highlighted. Following that, the more poorly studied aspect of beach recovery in between storms within a sequence is discussed. Three indicators for defining beach recovery, namely the shoreline, sediment volumes, and the beach state, are identified and compared. Finally, important research needs, including the need for detailed physical modelling, are identified.

Keywords  Storm sequences   Beach morphodynamics   Beach erosion   Extreme storms   Return period   Beach recovery     
Received 2019-02-18 Revised 2019-07-23 Online: 2019-09-30 
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wse.2019.09.007

This work was supported by the EPSRC FloodMEMORY Project (Grant No. EP/K013513/1) and the HYDRALAB+ Integrated Infrastructure Initiative, RESIST, Contract No. 654110, Horizon 2020, European Community.

Corresponding Authors: Sonja Eichentopf
Email: sonja.eichentopf16@imperial.ac.uk
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