Contemporary morphodynamics of a high-energy headland-embayment shoreface

Joni T. Backstrom, Derek Jackson, Andrew Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


A 2-year investigation into shoreface morphodynamic behaviour off a high-energy headland-embayment coast in Northern Ireland reveals important process-response mechanisms that cannot be explained solely by existing conceptual models. A comparison of 14 sequential bathymetric surveys, from 1 to 24 m water depth, shows that the Portstewart shoreface is in equilibrium with modal to high-energy conditions; significant morphologic change is generally associated with summer and/or fair-weather conditions. Additionally, antecedent morphology appears to be a primary control on subsequent behaviour; shoreface areas that had accreted in the previous survey period were more likely to erode. Also, the high-energy shoreface and beach appears to be in a state of accretion over the survey period, which is consistent with a falling late Holocene relative sea-level, a linear and dissipative shoreface profile and an abundance of sand in the coastal system. (C) 2009 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1361-1372
JournalContinental Shelf Research
Issue number11-12
Early online date27 Feb 2009
Publication statusPublished online - 27 Feb 2009


  • Inner shelf
  • Sediment transport
  • GIS
  • Northern Ireland
  • shoreface morphodynamics


Dive into the research topics of 'Contemporary morphodynamics of a high-energy headland-embayment shoreface'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this