Understanding storm-induced coastal change and forecasting these
changes require knowledge of the physical processes associated with
a storm and the geomorphology of the impacted coastline. The
primary physical processes of interest are the wind field, storm
surge, currents, and wave field. Not only does wind cause direct
damage to structures along the coast, but it is ultimately
responsible for much of the energy that is transferred to the ocean
and expressed as storm surge, mean currents, and surface waves.
Waves and currents are the processes most responsible for moving
sediments in the coastal zone during extreme storm events. Storm
surge, which is the rise in water level due to the wind, barometric
pressure, and other factors, allows both waves and currents to
attack parts of the coast not normally exposed to these processes.
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