The paper summarizes the theoretical and practical needs for cellular automata (CA)-type models in coastal simulation, and describes early steps in the development of a CA-based model for estuarine sedimentation. It describes the key approaches and formulae used for tidal, wave and sediment processes in a prototype integrated cellular model for coastal simulation designed to simulate estuary sedimentary responses during the tidal cycle in the short-term and climate driven changes in sea-level in the long-term. Results of simple model testing for both one-dimensional and two-dimensional models, and a preliminary parameterization for the Blackwater Estuary, UK, are shown. These reveal a good degree of success in using a CA-type model for water and sediment transport as a function of water level and wave height, but tidal current vectors are not effectively simulated in the approach used. The research confirms that a CA-type model for the estuarine sediment system is feasible, with a real prospect for coupling to existing catchment and nearshore beach/cliff models to produce integrated coastal simulators of sediment response to climate, sea-level change and human actions.
↵† Present address: Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093-0225, USA.
One contribution of 20 to a Theme Issue ‘Sea level science’.
- © 2006 The Royal Society