2024 CSDMS meeting-090


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Evaluating Morphologic Controls on Wave Energy Delivery on the West Coast of the United States

Cesar Lopez, Washington University in St. Louis St. Louis Missouri, United States. c.g.lopez@wustl.edu

Ocean waves are key drivers of erosion and cliff retreat along rocky coasts, doing so by delivering energy to the shore upon breaking. Wave energy attenuation increases with increasing distance from the location of breaking. As a result, breaking distance from the shore is one of the most important constraints on wave energy delivery to the coast. A primary factor influencing nearshore wave transformation and energy flux at the shore is shore morphology. We seek to evaluate local morphologic controls to better characterize wave energy delivery to the coast. Local wave climates are characterized utilizing NOAA datasets, and we incorporate the Coastal Relief Model to determine nearshore bathymetry and coastal morphology. We then perform shallow water wave transformations using linear wave theory to specify wave breaking locations along the shore. Here we present preliminary results that suggest that shore morphology, and specifically the gradient of the shore platform, is the dominant control on wave filtering and transformation along the West Coast of the United States. Ascertaining the role of shore morphology in controlling energy delivery to the shore is important for specifying the influence of shore steeping processes on wave transformation and energy delivery, as well as constraining and predicting coastal erosion and cliff retreat.