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PUBLICATION NOTICE: Review of Coastal Tidal Inlet Morphodynamics in the Context of Barrier-Inlet Sustainability

US Army Engineer Research and Development Center
Published Aug. 23, 2019

The US Army Engineer Research and Development Center has published the report/note described and linked below. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.

Report Number:



Review of Coastal Tidal Inlet Morphodynamics in the Context of Barrier-Inlet Sustainability 


Tanya M. Beck


This Coastal and Hydraulics Engineering special report is a general overview of coastal tidal inlet morphodynamics, sediment management practices, and barrier-inlet system sustainability at long-term, regional scales. The focus of coastal tidal inlet morphodynamics in this report is on the primary managed resource, coastal littoral sediments, which are the primary substrate for coastal barrier islands and tidal inlet sediment systems. Management practices concerned with sustainability are discussed with a temporal focus on planning horizons of 50 to 100 years. Special considerations are offered on how past coastal zone management has evolved the understanding of natural and anthropogenically modified geomorphic features and how perspectives have changed with regards to the sustainability of management practices for these sediment systems. Over longer timescales, such as centuries, the impacts of eustatic sea-level rise, climate change (e.g., storm intensity and frequency), long-term cross-shore and longshore sediment transport patterns, geologic isostacy and subsidence, and other important processes affect tidal inlet dynamics. Long-term studies conducted at regional spatial scales, including adjacent barriers and multiple inlets, are necessary to evaluate the cumulative effects of the aforementioned processes along with the effects of anthropogenic modifications, such as ebb-tidal delta mining and beach placement, to barrier-inlet sustainability.

61 pgs / 2.7 mb


ERDC is a diverse research organization with approximately 2,000 employees operating more than $1 billion in world class facilities at seven laboratories. Its annual program exceeds $1 billion as it supports the Department of Defense and other agencies in military and civilian projects. Principal research areas include Soldier support, Engineered Resilient Systems, Environmental Quality and Installations, Geospatial Research and Engineering, Military Engineering, and Water Resources.  “Discover ▪ Develop ▪ Deliver”

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