Marine Science Faculty Publications

The Development of a Probabilistic Approach to Forecast Coastal Change

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Book Chapter

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This study demonstrates the applicability of a Bayesian probabilistic model as an effective tool in predicting post-storm beach changes along sandy coastlines. Volume change and net shoreline movement are modeled for two study sites at Fire Island, New York in response to two extratropical storms in 2007 and 2009. Both study areas include modified areas adjacent to unmodified areas in morphologically different segments of coast. Predicted outcomes are evaluated against observed changes to test model accuracy and uncertainty along 163 cross-shore transects. Results show strong agreement in the cross validation of predictions vs. observations, with 70-82% accuracies reported. Although no consistent spatial pattern in inaccurate predictions could be determined, the highest prediction uncertainties appeared in locations that had been recently replenished. Further testing and model refinement are needed; however, these initial results show that Bayesian networks have the potential to serve as important decision-support tools in forecasting coastal change.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

The Development of a Probabilistic Approach to Forecast Coastal Change, in J. D. Rosati, P. Wang & T. M. Roberts (Eds.), The Proceedings of the Coastal Sediments, World Scientific Publishing, p. 1853-1866