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Open AccessArticle

Downscaling Future Longshore Sediment Transport in South Eastern Australia

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Oceans and Atmosphere, Melbourne, Victoria 3195, Australia
Department of Infrastructure Engineering, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria 3052, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2019, 7(9), 289;
Received: 29 June 2019 / Revised: 15 August 2019 / Accepted: 20 August 2019 / Published: 26 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dynamics of the Coastal Zone)
Modelling investigations into the local changes in the shoreline resulting from enhanced atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations and global climate change are important for supporting the planning of coastal mitigation measures. Analysis of Global Climate Model (GCM) and Regional Climate Model (RCM) simulations has shown that Lakes Entrance, a township located at the northern end of Ninety Mile Beach in south-eastern Australia, is situated in a region that may experience noticeable future changes in longshore winds, waves and coastal currents, which could alter the supply of sediments to the shoreline. This paper will demonstrate a downscaling procedure for using the data from GCM and RCM simulations to force a local climate model (LCM) at the beach scale to simulate additional nearshore wind-wave, hydrodynamic and sediment transport processes to estimate future changes. Two types of sediment transport models were used in this study, the simple empirical coastline-type model (CERC equation), and a detailed numerical coastal area-type model (TELEMAC). The two models resolved transport in very different ways, but nevertheless came to similar conclusions on the annual net longshore sediment transport rate. The TELEMAC model, with the Soulsby-Van Rijn formulation, showed the importance of the contribution of storm events to transport. The CERC equation estimates more transport during the period between storms than TELEMAC. The TELEMAC modelled waves, hydrodynamics and bed-evolutions are shown to agree well with the available observations. A new method is introduced to downscale GCM longshore sediment transport projections using wave-transport-directional change parameter to modify directional wave spectra. We developed a semi-empirical equation (NMB-LM) to extrapolate the ~3.7-year TELEMAC, storm dominated transport estimates, to the longer ~30-year hindcast climate. It shows that the shorter TELEMAC modelled period had twice as large annual net longshore sediment transport of the ~30 year hindcast. The CERC equation does not pick up this difference for the two climate periods. Modelled changes to the wave transport are shown to be an order of magnitude larger than changes from storm-tide current and mean sea level changes (0.1 to 0.2 m). Discussion is provided on the limitations of the models and how the projected changes could indicate sediment transport changes in the nearshore zone, which could impact the coastline position. View Full-Text
Keywords: longshore transport; climate change; downscaling longshore transport; climate change; downscaling
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O’Grady, J.; Babanin, A.; McInnes, K. Downscaling Future Longshore Sediment Transport in South Eastern Australia. J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2019, 7, 289.

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