Exploring marine and aeolian controls on coastal foredune growth using a coupled numerical model

Nicholas Cohn*, Bas M. Hoonhout, Evan B. Goldstein, Sierd de Vries, Laura J. Moore, Orencio Durán Vinent, Peter Ruggiero

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)
104 Downloads (Pure)


Coastal landscape change represents aggregated sediment transport gradients from spatially and temporally variable marine and aeolian forces. Numerous tools exist that independently simulate subaqueous and subaerial coastal profile change in response to these physical forces on a range of time scales. In this capacity, coastal foredunes have been treated primarily as wind-driven features. However, there are several marine controls on coastal foredune growth, such as sediment supply and moisture effects on aeolian processes. To improve understanding of interactions across the land-sea interface, here the development of the new Windsurf-coupled numerical modeling framework is presented. Windsurf couples standalone subaqueous and subaerial coastal change models to simulate the co-evolution of the coastal zone in response to both marine and aeolian processes. Windsurf is applied to a progradational, dissipative coastal system inWashington, USA, demonstrating the ability of the model framework to simulate sediment exchanges between the nearshore, beach, and dune for a one-year period. Windsurf simulations generally reproduce observed cycles of seasonal beach progradation and retreat, as well as dune growth, with reasonable skill. Exploratory model simulations are used to further explore the implications of environmental forcing variability on annual-scale coastal profile evolution. The findings of this work support the hypothesis that there are both direct and indirect oceanographic and meteorological controls on coastal foredune progradation, with this new modeling tool providing a new means of exploring complex morphodynamic feedback mechanisms.
Original languageEnglish
Article number13
Pages (from-to)1-25
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Marine Science and Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Aeolis
  • Beach
  • Coastal Dune Model
  • Morphodynamics
  • Progradation
  • XBeach


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