Influences of wave climate and sea level on shoreline erosion rates in the Maryland Chesapeake Bay

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Gao, Jia
Sanford, Lawrence Paul
Boicourt, William C.
SWAN and a parametric wave model implemented by the Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) were used to simulate wave climate from 1985 to 2005 in Chesapeake Bay (CB). Calibrated sea level simulations from the CBP hydrodynamic model were acquired. Spatial patterns of sea levels during high wave events were dominated by local north-south winds in the upper Bay and by remote coastal forcing in the lower Bay. A dataset comprising shoreline erosion rates and related characteristics was combined with the wave and sea-level climates to explore the most influential factors affecting erosion. The results show that wave power is the most significant factor for erosion in the Maryland CB. Marsh shorelines present a nearly linear relationship between wave power and erosion rates, whereas bank shorelines are less clear. The results of this study are applicable at large scales. A more comprehensive data set is needed for building detailed local predictive relationships.