Modelling the impact of storm-induced barrier island breaching on the morphodynamic evolution and stability of multiple tidal inlet systems
Breaching of barrier islands caused by a storm is a phenomenon that occurred frequently in the past. An idealized model is used to simulate the long term evolution of these storm-induced breaches and their effect on the tidal inlet system. Three probability distributions, based on historical data of breach events, are used to determine the occurrence of a breach and the location and size of the breach. The results of the Monte Carlo simulation show that the tidal inlet system develops into an equilibrium state. The evolution of a new inlet depends on whether the system has reached its equilibrium state, the distance of the breach to the closest existing inlet and the initial width of the breach. A new inlet might close in a few years while hardly affecting the system, or it might grow in size to become a stable open inlet causing existing inlets to decrease in size to restore the equilibrium state of the system.