Probabilistic projections of the stability of small tidal inlets at century time scale using a reduced complexity approach

Trang Minh Duong*, Roshanka Ranasinghe, David P. Callaghan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Climate change is widely expected to affect the thousands of small tidal inlets (STIs) dotting the global coastline. To properly inform effective adaptation strategies for the coastal areas in the vicinity of these inlets, it is necessary to know the temporal evolution of inlet stability over climate change time scales (50–100 years). As available numerical models are unable to perform continuous morphodynamic simulations at such time scales, here we develop and pilot a fast, probabilistic, reduced complexity model (RAPSTA – RAPid assessment tool of inlet STAbility) that can also quantify forcing uncertainties. RAPSTA accounts for the key physical processes governing STI stability and for climate change driven variations in system forcing. The model is very fast, providing a 100 year projection in less than 3 seconds. RAPSTA is demonstrated here at 3 STIs, representing the 3 main Types of STIs; Permanently open, locationally stable inlet (Type 1); Permanently open, alongshore migrating inlet (Type 2); Seasonally/Intermittently open, locationally stable inlet (Type 3). Model applications under a high greenhouse gas emissions scenario (RCP 8.5), accounting for forcing uncertainties, show that while the Type 1 STI will not change type over the twenty-first century, the Type 2 inlet may change into a more unstable Type 3 system around mid-century, and the Type 3 STI may change into a less unstable Type 2 system in about 20 years from now, further changing into a stable Type 1 STI around mid-century. These projections underscore the need for future adaptation strategies to remain flexible.
Original languageEnglish
Article number22921
Number of pages14
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
Early online date25 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


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