Modeling the Morphodynamics of Coastal Responses to Extreme Events: What Shape Are We In?

Christopher R. Sherwood*, Ap Van Dongeren, James Doyle, Christie A. Hegermiller, Tian-Jian Hsu, Tarandeep S. Kalra, Maitane Olabarrieta, Dano Roelvink, Marlies van der Lugt, More Authors

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleScientificpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


This review focuses on recent advances in process-based numerical models of the impact of extreme storms on sandy coasts. Driven by larger-scale models of meteorology and hydrodynamics, these models simulate morphodynamics across the Sallenger storm-impact scale, including swash,collision, overwash, and inundation. Models are becoming both wider (as more processes are added) and deeper (as detailed physics replaces earlier parameterizations). Algorithms for wave-induced flows and sediment transport under shoaling waves are among the recent developments. Community and open-source models have become the norm. Observations of initial conditions (topography, land cover, and sediment characteristics) have become more detailed, and improvements in tropical cyclone and wave models provide forcing (winds, waves, surge, and upland flow) that is better resolved and more accurate, yielding commensurate improvements in model skill. We foresee that future storm-impact models will increasingly resolve individual waves, apply data assimilation, and be used in ensemble modeling modes to predict uncertainties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)457-492
Number of pages36
JournalAnnual Review of Marine Science
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • coastal modeling
  • Coastal morphodynamics
  • extreme storms
  • sandy coasts
  • sediment transport
  • waves


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