Seabed Gradient Controlling Onshore Transport Rates of Surf Sand during Beach Retreat by Sea Level Rise
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A simple relationship is proposed for the onshore transport rates of surf-zone sand to evaluate the beach retreat caused by sea level rise. It suggests that the preservation potential of surf sand is proportional inversely to the seabed gradient during beach retreat. According to this relationship, the erosional remnants of surf sand would be more readily developed on a gentler shelf collectively as transgressive sand sheets. This finding may explain the previous studies regarding the Korean shelves that proposed that the Holocene transgressive sand sheets (HTSS) occur not in the steep eastern shelf but in the gentle western shelf. In line with such presence/absence of the HTSS are the results from some coastal seismic profiles obtained in the present study. The profiles indicate that sand deposits are restricted within the nearshore in the eastern coast, whereas they are persistently traceable to the offshore HTSS in the western coast. Tide is proven to have a negligible influence on the total duration of surf-zone processes. This study may be useful in predicting the consequences of the beach retreat that takes place worldwide as sea levels rise as a result of global warming.
Keywordsbeach retreat sea level rise seabed gradient transgressive sand sheet sediment transport wave
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