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Open-File Report 2015–1053

A Method for Determining Average Beach Slope and Beach Slope Variability for U.S. Sandy Coastlines

By Kara S. Doran, Joseph W. Long, and Jacquelyn R. Overbeck

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (377 KB)Introduction

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Assessment of Hurricane-Induced Coastal Erosion Hazards compares measurements of beach morphology with storm-induced total water levels to produce forecasts of coastal change for storms impacting the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic coastlines of the United States. The wave-induced water level component (wave setup and swash) is estimated by using modeled offshore wave height and period and measured beach slope (from dune toe to shoreline) through the empirical parameterization of Stockdon and others (2006). Spatial and temporal variability in beach slope leads to corresponding variability in predicted wave setup and swash. For instance, seasonal and storm-induced changes in beach slope can lead to differences on the order of 1 meter (m) in wave-induced water level elevation, making accurate specification of this parameter and its associated uncertainty essential to skillful forecasts of coastal change. A method for calculating spatially and temporally averaged beach slopes is presented here along with a method for determining total uncertainty for each 200-m alongshore section of coastline.

First posted April 1, 2015

For additional information, contact:
Director, St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
600 4th Street South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
http://coastal.er.usgs.gov/

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Suggested citation:

Doran, K.S., Long, J.W., and Overbeck, J.R., 2015, A method for determining average beach slope and beach slope variability for U.S. sandy coastlines: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2015–1053, 5 p., https://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ofr20151053.

ISSN 2331-1258 (online)



Contents

Introduction

Data Acquisition

Data Processing

Uncertainty Analysis

References Cited


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