Significance of fluvial sediment supply in coastline modelling at tidal inlets

Janaka Bamunawala*, Shreedhar Maskey, Trang Minh Duong, Ad van der Spek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
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The sediment budget associated with future coastline change in the vicinity of tidal inlets consists of four components; sea level rise-driven landward movement of the coastline (i.e., the Bruun effect), basin infilling effect due to sea level rise-induced increase in accommodation space, basin volume change due to variation in river discharge, and coastline change caused by change in fluvial sediment supply. These four components are affected by climate change and/or anthropogenic impacts. Despite this understanding, holistic modelling techniques that account for all the aforementioned processes under both climate change and anthropogenic influences are lacking. This manuscript presents the applications of a newly-developed reduced complexity modelling approach that accounts for both climate change and anthropogenically-driven impacts on future coastline changes. Modelled results corresponding to the year 2100 indicate considerable coastline recessions at Wilson Inlet (152 m) and the Swan River system (168 m) in Australia and Tu Hien Inlet (305 m) and Thuan An Inlet (148 m) in Vietnam. These results demonstrate that coastline models should incorporate both climate change and anthropogenic impacts to quantify future changes in fluvial sediment supply to coasts to achieve better estimates of total coastline changes at tidal inlets. Omission of these impacts is one of the major drawbacks in all the existing coastline models that simulate future coastline changes at tidal inlets. A comparison of these modelled future coastline changes with the predictions made by a relevant existing modelling technique (Scale Aggregated Model for Inlet-interrupted Coasts (SMIC)) indicates that the latter method overestimates total coastline recessions at the Swan River system, and the Tu Hien and Thuan An Inlets by 7%, 10%, and 30%, respectively, underlining the significance of integrating both climate change and anthropogenic impacts to assess future coastline changes at tidal inlets.

Original languageEnglish
Article number79
JournalJournal of marine science and engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2018


  • Anthropogenic impacts
  • Climate change impacts
  • Coastline modelling
  • Fluvial sediment supply
  • Inlet-affected coastlines

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