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January-February 2018

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Weather Front

Traffic Light System Predicts Beach Erosion from Storms

Researchers at the University of Plymouth in the UK and the University of New South Wales in Australia have developed a new tool that allows engineers to predict coastal erosion and recovery when severe storms hit. The computer model uses past wave observations and beach assessments to forecast the erosion of beach sediments over the next year. Scientists use measured and modeled wave data to create around 1,000 predictions of effects on a shoreline and then use statistical analysis to determine the most likely outcome. Potential shoreline positions are shown using a traffic light system, in which green signifies normal displacement ranges, yellow high ranges, and red extreme ranges.


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