Estuaries on the north-west coast of Ireland exhibit varying scales of morphological change, both temporally and spatially. Morphological changes in the west Donegal estuaries over the last 200 years (historical/meso-scale) determined from maps and aerial photographs provide a regional assessment of coastal evolution over this medium-term scale. A conceptual model of estuarine morphodynamics is presented. This is supported by estimations of sediment budgets associated with channel migration and dune erosion within the inlet regions, which occur in rock-bounded discrete coastal cells. Significant shifts in morphology, particularly inlet configuration and dune character, appear to have occurred at specific times or during certain decadal periods within the last 200 years. Potential forcing mechanisms, such as the occurrence of high-energy events or changing wind and wave climate associated with changes in the North Atlantic Oscillation are discussed.
|Journal||Journal of Coastal Research|
|Issue number||Sp. Is|
|Publication status||Published - 2004|