Open Access Research Article

Coastal Flooding on Gravel-Dominated Beaches Under Global Warming

Rafael J Bergillos1,2*, Cristobal Rodriguez-Delgado3 and Gregorio Iglesias4,3

1Hydraulic Engineering Area, Department of Agronomy, University of Córdoba, Rabanales Campus, Leonardo Da Vinci Building, 14071 Córdoba, Spain

2Andalusian Institute for Earth System Research, University of Granada, Avda. del Mediterráneo, s/n, 18006 Granada, Spain

3School of Engineering, University of Plymouth, Plymouth PL4 8AA, UK

4MaREI, Environmental Research Institute & School of Engineering, University College Cork, College Road, Cork, Ireland

Corresponding Author

Received Date: December 23, 2018;  Published Date: January 17, 2019


This work analyses the effects of sea-level rise on flooding events for 3 different scenarios: present situation (S0), optimistic projection (RCP4.5) and pessimistic projection (RCP8.5). The study area is a gravel-dominated beach in southern Spain (Playa Granada), where the SWAN and XBeach-G models are applied to assess wave propagation patterns, total run-up and flooded dry beach area. The results indicate that sea-level rise modifies wave propagation patterns, with alongshore-averaged increases in breaking wave height equal to 1.2% (1.9%) un-der westerly (easterly) storms in the optimistic scenario and 2.6% (2.4%) in the pessimistic scenario. These increments lead to maximum increases in total run-up greater than 13% (14%) for westerly (easterly) storms in the optimistic scenario and 16% (20%) in the pessimistic scenario. Finally, the increases in flooded dry beach area induced by sea-level rise under westerly (easterly) storms are equal to 1.6% (5.9%) and 1.8% (7.7%) in scenarios RCP4.5 and RCP8.5, respectively, and the maximum increments in flooded cross-shore distances exceed 8% in all cases. The methodology proposed in the present work can be extended to other coasts worldwide for assessing the in fluence of sea-level rise on coastal flooding events.

Keywords:Global warming; Sea-level rise; Coastal flooding; Gravel beach

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