Beach Morphodynamics

A.D. Short, D.W.T. Jackson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


The morphodynamic approach to the study of beaches had it origins at the Coastal Studies Institute at Louisiana State University in the late 1960’s, and formed the basis of the Australian approach beginning in the mid-1970’s 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 time scales from the instantaneous to the Quaternary, and spatially across all coastal environments. Equally important was the interdependence of processes and morphological response, such that beach systems could be viewed and 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 review 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
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTreatise on Geomorphology
EditorsJohn F. Shroder
Place of PublicationSan Diego
ISBN (Print)9780123747396
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2013


  • beach
  • morphodynamics
  • beach state
  • waves
  • sand transport


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