The morphodynamic approach to the study of beaches had its origins at the Coastal Studies Institute at Louisiana State University in the late 1960s and formed the basis of the Australian approach beginning in the mid-1970s where it was formalized by Wright and Thom (1977). Unlike the previous fragmented approach to beach studies, the morphodynamic approach provided a time–space framework within which all beach systems could be located at timescales from the instantaneous to the Quaternary, and spatially from bedforms to barrier and deltaic systems. Equally important was the interdependence of processes and morphological response, so that beach systems could be studied in a state of dynamic equilibrium with the prevailing processes and boundary conditions. This approach enabled the full spectrum of beach systems and types to be identified and characterized and is utilized to examine beach response at scales from the instantaneous, to event, to long term. This chapter covers the development of the morphodynamic approach; its application within and across the beach environment; the present level of understanding; and areas requiring more research.
|Title of host publication||Treatise on Geomorphology |
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - 15 Dec 2020|
|Name||Treatise on Geomorphology, 2nd edition|
- Beach morphodynamics
- Swash zone
- Surf zone