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Watching the Beach Steadily Disappearing: The Evolution of Understanding of Retrogressive Breach Failures

1
Deltares, Department of Marine and Coastal Management, PO Box 177, 2600 MH Delft, The Netherlands
2
Independent Researcher, 4000 Brisbane, Australia
3
Cerema, 33200 Bordeaux, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2019, 7(10), 368; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse7100368
Received: 27 August 2019 / Revised: 3 October 2019 / Accepted: 11 October 2019 / Published: 17 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Coastal Engineering)
Retrogressive breach failures or coastal flow slides occur naturally in the shoreface in fine sands near dynamic tidal channels or rivers. They sometimes retrogress into beaches, shoal margins and riverbanks where they can threaten infrastructure and cause severe coastal erosion and flood risk. Ever since the first reports were published in the Netherlands over a century ago, attempts have been made to understand the geo-mechanical mechanism of flow slides. In this paper we have established that events, observed during the active phase, are characterized by a slow but steady retrogression into the shoreline, often continuing for many hours. This can be explained by the breaching mechanism, as will be clarified in this paper. Recently, further evidence has become available in the form of video footage of active events in Australia and elsewhere, often publicly posted on the internet. All these observations justify the new term ‘retrogressive breach failure’ (RBF event). The mechanism has been confirmed in flume tests and in a field experiment. With a better understanding of the geo-mechanical mechanism, current protection methods can be better understood, and new defense strategies can be envisaged. In writing this paper, we hope that the coastal science and engineering communities will better recognize and understand these intriguing natural events. View Full-Text
Keywords: coastal erosion; embankment; flow slide; slope stability; dredging; liquefaction; submarine landslide coastal erosion; embankment; flow slide; slope stability; dredging; liquefaction; submarine landslide
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mastbergen, D.R.; Beinssen, K.; Nédélec, Y. Watching the Beach Steadily Disappearing: The Evolution of Understanding of Retrogressive Breach Failures. J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2019, 7, 368. https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse7100368

AMA Style

Mastbergen DR, Beinssen K, Nédélec Y. Watching the Beach Steadily Disappearing: The Evolution of Understanding of Retrogressive Breach Failures. Journal of Marine Science and Engineering. 2019; 7(10):368. https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse7100368

Chicago/Turabian Style

Mastbergen, Dick R., Konrad Beinssen, and Yves Nédélec. 2019. "Watching the Beach Steadily Disappearing: The Evolution of Understanding of Retrogressive Breach Failures" Journal of Marine Science and Engineering 7, no. 10: 368. https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse7100368

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