Houston, J.R., 2020. “Beach nourishment versus sea level rise on Florida’s coasts”, Shore & Beach 88(2), 3-13.
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Beach nourishment versus sea level rise on Florida’s coasts
James R. Houston
U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center
3909 Halls Ferry Road, Vicksburg, MS 39180; firstname.lastname@example.org
Beach nourishment and sea level rise will dominate future shoreline changes on Florida’s 665 miles of sandy coast. Shoreline changes from 2020-2100 are projected along this entire coast using equilibrium profile theory that accurately predicted shoreline changes on Florida’s east coast from 1970-2017 (Houston 2019). Projections for 2020- 2100 are made assuming past rates of beach nourishment for the 30-yr period from 1988-2017 will continue and sea level will rise according to recent projections of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that include the latest knowledge on ice melting in Antarctica (IPCC 2019). Using the beach nourishment and sea level rise data, equilibrium profile theory is then used to predict shoreline change from 2020-2100 for each IPCC sea level rise projection. Beach nourishment is shown to produce shoreline advance seaward on average for all IPCC scenarios for both the entire Florida coast and east coast and for all scenarios except the upper confidence level of the worst scenario for the southwest and Panhandle coasts. Some of the 30 counties on these coasts will require a greater rate of nourishment than in the past to offset sea level rise for some or all of the scenarios, whereas some will offset sea level rise for all scenarios with lower nourishment rates than in the past. The annual beach nourishment volume for which a county has a shortfall or surplus in offsetting sea level rise for each IPCC scenario can be calculated with the information provided and examples are presented. The approach can be used on coasts outside Florida if beach nourishment and sea level rise are expected to dominate future shoreline change.