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J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2016, 4(4), 65;

Long-Term Morphological Modeling of Barrier Island Tidal Inlets

U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory, 3909 Halls Ferry Road, Vicksburg, MS 39180, USA
Institute for Water Resources, Hydrologic Engineering Center, 609 Second Street, Davis, CA 95616, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Richard P. Signell and Dong-Sheng Jeng
Received: 25 July 2016 / Revised: 8 September 2016 / Accepted: 15 September 2016 / Published: 23 September 2016
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The primary focus of this study is to apply a two-dimensional (2-D) coupled flow-wave-sediment modeling system to simulate the development and growth of idealized barrier island tidal inlets. The idealized systems are drawn from nine U.S. coastal inlets representing Pacific Coast, Gulf Coast and Atlantic Coast geographical and climatological environments. A morphological factor is used to effectively model 100 years of inlet evolution and the resulting morphological state is gauged in terms of the driving hydrodynamic processes. Overall, the model performs within the range of established theoretically predicted inlet cross-sectional area. The model compares favorably to theoretical models of maximum inlet currents, which serve as a measure of inlet stability. Major morphological differences are linked to inlet geometry and tidal forcing. Narrower inlets develop channels that are more aligned with the inlet axis while wider inlets develop channels that appear as immature braided channel networks similar to tidal flats in regions with abundant sediment supply. Ebb shoals with strong tidal forcing extend further from shore and spread laterally, promoting multi-lobe development bisected by ebb shoal channels. Ebb shoals with moderate tidal forcing form crescent bars bracketing a single shore-normal channel. Longshore transport contributes to ebb shoal asymmetry and provides bed material to help maintain the sediment balance in the bay. View Full-Text
Keywords: hydrodynamic modeling; tidal inlets; long-term morphological change; sediment transport; morphodynamic modeling; coastal inlet evolution hydrodynamic modeling; tidal inlets; long-term morphological change; sediment transport; morphodynamic modeling; coastal inlet evolution

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Styles, R.; Brown, M.E.; Brutsché, K.E.; Li, H.; Beck, T.M.; Sánchez, A. Long-Term Morphological Modeling of Barrier Island Tidal Inlets. J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2016, 4, 65.

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