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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2019-10
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2019-10
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Model description paper 18 Mar 2019

Model description paper | 18 Mar 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Geoscientific Model Development (GMD).

Simulating barrier island response to sea-level rise with the barrier island and inlet environment (BRIE) model v1.0

Jaap H. Nienhuis1 and Jorge Lorenzo-Trueba2 Jaap H. Nienhuis and Jorge Lorenzo-Trueba
  • 1Department of Physical Geography, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands
  • 2Earth and Environmental Studies, Montclair State University, Montclair, New Jersey, USA

Abstract. Barrier islands are low-lying coastal landforms vulnerable to inundation and erosion by sea-level rise. Despite their socio-economic and ecological importance, their morphodynamic response to sea-level rise or other hazards is poorly understood. To tackle this knowledge gap, we outline and describe the BarrieR Inlet Environment (BRIE) model that can simulate long-term barrier morphodynamics. In addition to existing overwash and shoreface formulations, BRIE accounts for alongshore sediment transport, inlet dynamics, and flood-tidal delta deposition along barrier islands. Inlets within BRIE can open, close, migrate, merge with other inlets, and build flood-tidal delta deposits. Long-term simulations reveal complex emergent behaviour of tidal inlets resulting from interactions with sea-level rise, and overwash. BRIE also includes a stratigraphic module, which demonstrates that barrier dynamics under constant sea-level rise rates can result in stratigraphic profiles composed of inlet fill, flood-tidal delta and overwash deposits. In general, the BRIE model represents a process-based exploratory view of barrier island morphodynamics that can be used to investigate long-term risks of flooding and erosion in barrier environments. For example, BRIE can simulate barrier island drowning in cases where the imposed sea-level rise rate is faster than the morphodynamic response of the barrier island.

Jaap H. Nienhuis and Jorge Lorenzo-Trueba
Interactive discussion
Status: open (until 19 Jun 2019)
Status: open (until 19 Jun 2019)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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Jaap H. Nienhuis and Jorge Lorenzo-Trueba
Model code and software

Barrier Inlet Environment (BRIE) Model J. H. Nienhuis and J. Lorenzo-Trueba https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1218142

Jaap H. Nienhuis and Jorge Lorenzo-Trueba
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Short summary
The response of barrier islands to sea level rise depends on their ability to move landward through the transport of sediment from the beach to the back barrier. The BRIE model simulates these processes and the resulting landward movement of barrier islands. We find that tidal inlets (gaps in between barrier islands) can be important agents of landward sediment transport that can therefore help keep barrier islands above sea-level.
The response of barrier islands to sea level rise depends on their ability to move landward...
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