Communities residing on barrier islands depend upon the ability of barriers to withstand forcings such as waves, sea-level rise, and storms, particularly under stresses from climate change. Using a barrier island evolution model, we compare barrier response to linear versus accelerating sea-level rise. Results suggest that barriers are more likely to drown under accelerating rather than linear sea-level rise. The dominant style of barrier drowning also shifts from width drowning to height drowning. When our model of barrier evolution is coupled with a myopic economic decision-making model for beach nourishment and managed retreat, the general coastal management behavior is unchanged. However, the timing and position at which interventions are made differ. Therefore, decisions based on the assumption of constant sea-level rise rates rather than increasing rates may result in actions that are detrimental to communities and potentially reduce the barrier’s ability to maintain its subaerial landform.
|Title||The evolution of natural and developed barriers under accelerating sea levels|
|Authors||Rose Elizabeth Palermo, Andrew D. Ashton, Di Jin, Porter Hoagland, Jorge Lorenzo-Trueba|
|Publication Type||Conference Paper|
|Publication Subtype||Conference Paper|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center|