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Study Approach

In order to develop these predictive capabilities and decision-support products, the Study necessarily takes a systems analysis approach that involves multiple tasks grouped into the following categories:

  1. Coastal Change: analyses of past and present changes in geomorphic features that include barrier evolution, shoreline behaviour, beach morphology, and bathymetric change.  These efforts involve mapping the evolution of the littoral cell over a continuum of scales ranging from days and meters to millennia and hundreds of kilometers in order to understand the system functioning. The observed coastal changes are being related to environmental forcing, climatological events, sediment budgets, and other influences including human intervention and tectonic activity.
  2. Sediment Budget: analyses of the littoral system that includes assessment and quantification of the Columbia River source, and sediment sinks including the barriers, bays, and shelf.  Related tasks involve identifying the internal sediment compartments and the pathways and magnitudes of sediment flux between compartments.
  3. Coastal Processes: studies that measure, monitor, and/or model waves, currents, sediment transport, or other climatic conditions that drive coastal response over a wide range of spatial and temporal scales.
  4. Predictive Modeling: predictions of shoreline change and shoreface translation based on integrated input data sets derived from the analysis of coastal change, sediment budgets, coastal processes, and other environmental forcing conditions and geological constraints. The initial predictions are refined through iteration with nested data collection/monitoring.
  5. Management Support: analysis of community susceptibility to coastal change, the development of decision support systems and information databases, and applications of research results to case studies.

Schematic Representation of Study Approach

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Ecology - SEA Program | USGS - Coastal & Marine Geology

This is http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/sea/swces/overview/approach_p2.htm
Maintained by CMAP, Washington Department of Ecology
Address questions and comments to George Kaminsky
Modified 22 Mar 2012