Systematic Review Shows That Work Done by Storm Waves Can Be Misinterpreted as Tsunami-Related Because Commonly Used Hydrodynamic Equations Are Flawed

dc.contributor.authorCox, Ronadhen
dc.contributor.authorArdhuin, Fabriceen
dc.contributor.authorDias, Fredericen
dc.contributor.authorAutret, Ronanen
dc.contributor.authorBeisiegel, Nicoleen
dc.contributor.authorEarlie, Claire S.en
dc.contributor.authorHerterich, James G.en
dc.contributor.authorKennedy, Andrewen
dc.contributor.authorParis, Raphaelen
dc.contributor.authorRaby, Alisonen
dc.contributor.authorSchmitt, Palen
dc.contributor.authorWeiss, Roberten
dc.contributor.departmentCenter for Coastal Studiesen
dc.description.abstractCoastal boulder deposits (CBD), transported by waves at elevations above sea level and substantial distances inland, are markers for marine incursions. Whether they are tsunami or storm deposits can be difficult to determine, but this is of critical importance because of the role that CBD play in coastal hazard analysis. Equations from seminal work by Nott (1997), here referred to as the Nott Approach, are commonly employed to calculate nominal wave heights from boulder masses as a means to discriminate between emplacement mechanisms. Systematic review shows that this approach is based on assumptions that are not securely founded and that direct relationships cannot be established between boulder measurements and wave heights. A test using an unprecedented dataset of boulders moved by storm waves (with associated sea-state data) shows a lack of agreement between calculations and actual wave heights. The equations return unrealistically large heights, many of which greatly exceed sea states occurring during the boulder-moving storms. This underscores the finding that Nott-Approach wave-height calculations are unreliable. The result is general, because although the field data come from one region (the Aran Islands, Ireland), they represent a wide range of boulder masses and topographic settings and present a valid test of hydrodynamic equations. This analysis demonstrates that Nott Approach equations are incapable of distinguishing storm waves from tsunami transport and that wave heights hindcast from boulder masses are not meaningful. Current hydrodynamic understanding does not permit reliable computation of wave height from boulder measurements. A combination of field, numerical, and experimental approaches is required to quantify relationships between wave power and mass transport onshore. Many CBD interpreted as tsunami deposits based on Nott-Approach analysis may in fact have been emplaced during storms and should therefore be re-evaluated. This is especially important for CBD that have been incorporated into long-term coastal risk assessments, which are compromised if the CBD are misinterpreted. CBD dynamics can be better determined from a combination of detailed field measurements, modeling, and experiments. A clearer understanding of emplacement mechanisms will result in more reliable hazard analysis.en
dc.description.notesResearch was supported under the US-Ireland R&D Partnership Programme, by National Science Foundation award 1529756 (RC); Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) award 14/US/E3111 (FD, NB, and JH); and Department for the Economy Northern Ireland Grant USI801 (PS). FD also acknowledges SFI award 12/RC/2302 through the SFI Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy (MaREI), and RC acknowledges additional support from a World Faculty Fellowship through Williams College. AK acknowledges National Science Foundation award 1661015.en
dc.description.sponsorshipUS-Ireland R&D Partnership Programme, by National Science Foundation award [1529756]; Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)Science Foundation Ireland [14/US/E3111]; Department for the Economy Northern Ireland [USI801]; SFI Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy (MaREI) [12/RC/2302]; World Faculty Fellowship through Williams College; National Science Foundation awardNational Science Foundation (NSF) [1661015]en
dc.rightsCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 Internationalen
dc.subjectcoastal boulder depositsen
dc.subjectstorm wavesen
dc.subjecthydrodynamic equationsen
dc.subjectcoastal erosionen
dc.subjectcoastal hazarden
dc.subjectcoastal geomorphologyen
dc.subjectwave modelingen
dc.titleSystematic Review Shows That Work Done by Storm Waves Can Be Misinterpreted as Tsunami-Related Because Commonly Used Hydrodynamic Equations Are Flaweden
dc.title.serialFrontiers in Marine Scienceen
dc.typeArticle - Refereeden


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