Coastal erosion along the Monterey Bay
Thornton, Edward B.
Tucker, Stevens P.
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Coastal erosion, as inferred by measuring bluff recession is correlated with wave height at 12 sites along the Monterey Bay coastline. Bluff recession rates are established by applying precise photogrammetric techniques to a 44-year time series of aerial photographs. Wave heights are determined from the USACE Wave Information Studies spectral wave climatology, where deep water gravity waves are hindcast from historic wind fields at three-hour intervals from Jan 56-Dec 75. The deep water spectra are refracted to shallow water spectra at a nominal depth of 4m. An erosion model is developed for Monterey Bay where the erosion process is modelled as a non-linear function of the 4-m significant wave height: R=(AHs sq) + BHs + C(Tide + 1.02Hs - Clifftoe)/Beach Slope. The coefficients A, B, C are computed from a least squares regression of the modelled and observed recession rate values. The erosion model provides a reasonable representation of the erosion process in Monterey Bay, where the mean standard error between observed and modelled erosion rates is + or - 0.17 m/yr. Adjustment of the wave energy coefficient, A, allows tuning of the model for high and low wave energy locations. Keywords: Ocean waves; California; Photogrammetry; Refraction; Cliffs
Distinguished Alumni Award Program author. RDML Timothy J. McGee, USN (Presented 11 May 06)
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