Computer models can be used to simulate natural behaviour and make future predictions of natural conditions. A computer model is a simple representation of a complicated "reality". While modeling efforts offer a best guess of what is happening, uncertainties in natural forcing and the human ability to measure change means that it is only possible to model certain aspects of environmental behaviour. All of the publications referenced on this page can be found in the Study's complete list of publications.
Shoreface translation: The Shoreface Translation Model has been used to assess the effects and likelihood of shoreface rotation (steepening and deepening of the shoreface); the effects of episodic earthquake-induced subsidence on barrier evolution; and recession estimates for the present coast due to a future Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake event. The model is designed to simulate the horizontal and vertical translation of barrier beaches driven by changes in the natural environment, including sea level and sediment supply. For more information on the model and preliminary results for simulations along the Long Beach Peninsula, download Modeling shoreface and barrier response to subsidence events.
Shoreline change: Shoreline change (beach accretion or erosion) occurs when the amount of sediment supplied to the beach does not match the amount which is removed from the beach. Over the past 4,000 - 6,000 years the coast featured low rates of accretion. During the past 100 years, the magnitude of accretion has increased considerably. This trend appears to have slowed over the past few decades, however, and one of the most important questions to consider for rapidly expanding coastal communities is the future location of the shoreline. To learn more about the Study efforts to model future shoreline position, download Shoreline change modeling - in relation to the sediment budget. For more information about geologic scale shoreline change rates see Prehistoric beach accretion rates used to predict long-term response to sediment depletion in the Columbia River littoral system.
Simulating WAves Nearshore (SWAN): Developed at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, this model is used to project the amount of wave energy generated as waves travel across the ocean. Model results help to determine the amount and direction of sediment transport within the littoral cell.