2018 CSDMS meeting-120

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The Coastline Evolution Model 2D (CEM2D)

Chloe Morris, University of Hull Hull , United Kingdom. Chloe.Morris@2014.hull.ac.uk
Tom Coulthard, School of Environmental Sciences, University of Hull Hull , United Kingdom.
Daniel R. Parsons, School of Environmental Sciences, University of Hull Hull , United Kingdom.
Susan Manson, Environment Agency Beverley , United Kingdom.
Andrew Barkwith, British Geological Survey Nottingham , United Kingdom.


Coasts are among the most intensely used environments on the planet, but they also present dynamic and unique hazards including flooding and erosion. Over the next century, these risk are likely to intensify across many coastal localities due to changes in environmental conditions, including sea level rise and changing wave climate patterns as induced by climate change. Managing these hazards and protecting vulnerable areas is challenging and requires an understanding of the behavior of coastal systems and longer-term prediction of their future evolution in the face of a changing climate. Many existing one-dimensional coastal evolution models can effectively simulate the evolution of coastal environments. However, due to their 1D nature, they are unable to model the additional and combined effects of a variable water level and sea level rise. Hence, a new model, the Coastline Evolution Model 2D (CEM2D), has been built that is capable of simulating these processes.

CEM2D has been built from the 1D parent model – the Coastline Evolution Model (CEM) - that was originally developed by Ashton et al. (2001), Ashton and Murray (2006) and Valvo et al. (2006). CEM2D has been developed accordingly to the underlying assumption and mathematical framework of CEM, but applied over a two-dimensional grid. At the core of this framework is the calculation of longshore sediment transport rates using the CERC formula and Linear Wave Theory. Wave shadowing calculations are also used to ensure that sediment transport is negligible in shadowed areas. The distribution of material across the shoreface is controlled by a steepest descent formula that routes sediment from higher to lower elevations across the domain according to defined thresholds, whilst maintaining the average slope angle.

CEM2D provides a step forward in the field of coastal numerical modelling. It fills a gap between one-dimensional models of shoreline change that provide insights into the fundamental processes that control coastal morphodynamics and more complex and computationally expensive two- and three-dimensional models that are capable of simulating more complex processes and feedbacks. Key applications of CEM2D include improving our understanding of the meso-scale morphodynamic behaviour of coastal systems, their sensitivities to changing environmental conditions and the influence that climate change may have on their evolution over centennial to decadal timescales.