Open-File Report 2014–1159
Coastal erosion is pervasive along much of the world's shoreline. The ability to understand and predict coastal change is important with regard to mitigating hazards. Storms are one of the primary forces driving coastal change. The duration, magnitude, and frequency of storms determine the long term sediment flux of the region (Warner and others, 2012). These discrete events can create large waves, storm surges, flooding, coastal erosion, and strong currents that affect life, property, and navigation. Understanding these processes is critical to the assessment of coastal change and the cumulative effect of storms over varying timescales. Understanding coastal change enables planners and coastal managers to provide increased awareness and advanced preparation to help minimize loss of life and property and to manage coastal resources.
The U.S. Geological Survey Coastal Change Processes Project is researching coastal-change hazards and applying models for predicting coastal change. Our current understanding of coastal sediment transport and geology indicates that examining coastal processes at regional scales leads to important insights into how the coastal zone evolves. Geologic framework studies, numerical models, and physical oceanographic observations are used to address issues related to coastal change caused by storm effects, sediment budgets, and sediment-transport linkage among the beach, the shoreface and the inner shelf. The results of this research can help predict coastal change, and these methods can be applicable to other areas. Additional information about the project is available at the USGS Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center Coastal Changes Processes Project Web page ( http://woodshole.er.usgs.gov/project-pages/coastal_change/ ).