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J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2015, 3(3), 1006-1026;

Mesoscale Morphological Change, Beach Rotation and Storm Climate Influences along a Macrotidal Embayed Beach

Coastal and Marine Research Group, University of Wales Trinity Saint David (Swansea), Mount Pleasant, Swansea, Wales SA1 6ED, UK
Facultad de Ciencias Básicas, Programa de Física, Grupo de Geología, Geofísica y Procesos Litorales, Km 7 Antigua vía Puerto Colombia, Barranquilla, Atlántico 080020, Colombia
Ciencias de la Tierra, Universidad de Cadiz, Puerto Real 11510, Spain
CICA NOVA, Nova Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa 1069-050, Portugal
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Gerben Ruessink
Received: 29 June 2015 / Accepted: 25 August 2015 / Published: 2 September 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coastal Morphodynamics)
Full-Text   |   PDF [8077 KB, uploaded 2 September 2015]   |  


Cross-shore profiles and environmental forcing were used to analyse morphological change of a headland bay beach: Tenby, West Wales (51.66 N; −4.71 W) over a mesoscale timeframe (1996–2013). Beach profile variations were attuned with longer term shoreline change identified by previous research showing southern erosion and northern accretion within the subaerial zone and were statistically significant in both sectors although centrally there was little or no significance. Conversely a statistically significant volume loss was shown at all profile locations within the intertidal zone. There were negative phase relationships between volume changes at the beach extremities, indicative of beach rotation and results were statistically significant (p < 0.01) within both subaerial (R2 = 0.59) and intertidal (R2 = 0.70) zones. This was confirmed qualitatively by time-series analysis and further cross correlation analysis showed trend reversal time-lagged associations between sediment exchanges at either end of the beach. Wave height and storm events displayed summer/winter trends which explained longer term one directional rotation at this location. In line with previous regional research, environmental forcing suggests that imposed changes are influenced by variations in southwesterly wind regimes. Winter storms are generated by Atlantic southwesterly winds and cause a south toward north sediment exchange, while southeasterly conditions that cause a trend reversal are generally limited to the summer period when waves are less energetic. Natural and man-made embayed beaches are a common coastal feature and many experience shoreline changes, jeopardising protective and recreational beach functions. In order to facilitate effective and sustainable coastal zone management strategies, an understanding of the morphological variability of these systems is needed. Therefore, this macrotidal research dealing with rotational processes across the entire intertidal has significance for other macrotidal coastlines, especially with predicted climate change and sea level rise scenarios, to inform local, regional and national shoreline risk management strategies. View Full-Text
Keywords: mesoscale morphological change; beach rotation; storm climate mesoscale morphological change; beach rotation; storm climate

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Thomas, T.; Rangel-Buitrago, N.; Phillips, M.R.; Anfuso, G.; Williams, A.T. Mesoscale Morphological Change, Beach Rotation and Storm Climate Influences along a Macrotidal Embayed Beach. J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2015, 3, 1006-1026.

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