Analysis of field data of coastal morphological evolution over yearly and decadal time scales: Part 2 Non-linear techniques

Howard N. Southgate, Kathelijne M. Wijnberg, Magnus Larson, Michele Capobianco, Henk Janssen

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A number of techniques for non-linear analysis of time series data have been developed in recent years and applied in many environmental sciences. In this paper, some of these techniques are reviewed and their usefulness for coastal morphological data assessed, with examples in coastal morphology and related fields where these are available. The methods reviewed are time-delay embedding techniques, singular spectrum analysis, forecasting signatures, fractal analysis and neural networks. It is expected that readers from diverse backgrounds such as statistics, environmental modeling, and data measurement would be interested in this subject. Accordingly, introductions have been provided for some concepts and background material. These include the general purposes of data analysis, the approaches traditionally used by statisticians and physical scientists, the general nature of coastal morphological data, and the distinction between linear and non-linear analysis methods. It is concluded that the information potentially provided by these techniques is essential in understanding the generic behavior of coastal morphology on yearly and decadal timescales, and hence in constructing models and making forecasts of future morphological evolution. However, for these purposes, non-linear data analysis techniques usually require longer data series, and higher spatial and temporal resolution, than is available in present coastal morphological data sets. Data from remote sensing sources have the potential to meet these requirements.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)776-789
JournalJournal of coastal research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2003


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