Monitoring and modelling the morphodynamic evolution of a breached barrier beach system

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O'Shea, Patrick Michael
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University College Cork
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Predicting the evolution of a coastal cell requires the identification of the key drivers of morphology. Soft coastlines are naturally dynamic but severe storm events and even human intervention can accelerate any changes that are occurring. However, when erosive events such as barrier breaching occur with no obvious contributory factors, a deeper understanding of the underlying coastal processes is required. Ideally conclusions on morphological drivers should be drawn from field data collection and remote sensing over a long period of time. Unfortunately, when the Rossbeigh barrier beach in Dingle Bay, County Kerry, began to erode rapidly in the early 2000’s, eventually leading to it breaching in 2008, no such baseline data existed. This thesis presents a study of the morphodynamic evolution of the Inner Dingle Bay coastal system. The study combines existing coastal zone analysis approaches with experimental field data collection techniques and a novel approach to long term morphodynamic modelling to predict the evolution of the barrier beach inlet system. A conceptual model describing the long term evolution of Inner Dingle Bay in 5 stages post breaching was developed. The dominant coastal processes driving the evolution of the coastal system were identified and quantified. A new methodology of long term process based numerical modelling approach to coastal evolution was developed. This method was used to predict over 20 years of coastal evolution in Inner Dingle Bay. On a broader context this thesis utilised several experimental coastal zone data collection and analysis methods such as ocean radar and grain size trend analysis. These were applied during the study and their suitability to a dynamic coastal system was assessed.
Morphology , Erosion , Dingle Bay , Rossbeigh , Coastal engineering , Coastal modelling , Sediment transport , Wave radar
O'Shea, P. M, 2015. Monitoring and modelling the morphodynamic evolution of a breached barrier beach system. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.