A relationship to describe the cumulative impact of storm clusters on beach erosion
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Estimation of erosion volumes for adequate dry beach buffer zones is commonly estimated on the basis of a single extreme event, such as the 1 in 100 year storm. However, the cumulative impact of several smaller, closely spaced storms can lead to equal, if not more, dry beach loss, but this is often not quantified. Here we use a calibrated model for dune erosion, XBeach, to hindcast the cumulative erosion impact of a series of historical storms that impacted the Gold Coast, Queensland region in 1967. Over a 6-month period, four named cyclones (Dinah, Barbara, Elaine, and Glenda) and three East Coast Lows caused a cumulative erosion volume greater than the predicted 1 in 100 year event. Results presented here show that XBeach was capable of reproducing the measured dry beach erosion volume to within 21% and shoreline retreat to within 10%. The storms were then run in 17 different sequences to determine if sequencing influenced final modeled erosion volumes. It is shown that storm sequencing did not significantly affect the total eroded volumes. However, individual storm volumes were influenced by the antecedent state of the beach (i.e. prior cumulative erosion). Power-law relationships between cumulative energy density (? E) and eroded volume (?V) as well as cumulative wave power ((? P)) and eroded volume (?V) both explained more than 94% of the modeled dry beach erosion for the 1967 storm sequences. When the relationship was compared with observed and modeled erosion volumes for similar beaches but different storm forcing, the inclusion of pre-storm beach swash slope (߳wash) in the parameterization was found to increase the applicability of the power-law relationship over a broader range of conditions.
Environmental Engineering Modelling