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Morphological impact of a storm can be predicted three days ahead

Baart, F., van Ormondt, M., van Thiel de Vries, J.S.M., van Koningsveld, M.
Computers & geosciences 2016 v.90 pp. 17-23
computers, dunes, gauges, hydrodynamics, littoral zone, prediction, storms, video cameras, Netherlands
People living behind coastal dunes depend on the strength and resilience of dunes for their safety. Forecasts of hydrodynamic conditions and morphological change on a timescale of several days can provide essential information to protect lives and property. In order for forecasts to protect they need be relevant, accurate, provide lead time, and information on confidence. Here we show how confident one can be in morphological predictions of several days ahead. The question is answered by assessing the forecast skill as a function of lead time. The study site in the town of Egmond, the Netherlands, where people depend on the dunes for their safety, is used because it is such a rich data source, with a history of forecasts, tide gauges and bathymetry measurements collected by video cameras. Even though the forecasts are on a local scale, the methods are generally applicable. It is shown that the intertidal beach volume change can be predicted up to three days ahead.