Morphodynamic and modeling insights from global sensitivity analysis of a barrier island evolution model
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Morphodynamic and modeling insights from global sensitivity analysis of a barrier island evolution model

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    Recently developed models of coastal barrier morphodynamics include marsh and lagoon processes that have been shown to impact barrier island evolution. To gain additional insights into the simulated barrier-backbarrier system dynamics, this study explores the parameter space of a barrier evolution model using global sensitivity analysis. Influential parameters, their interactions with one another, and regions of sensitivity within the parameter space were identified using Sobol indices and factor mapping techniques for model results through the end of the century. The results of this study highlight an important relationship between initial and critical barrier island geometries and suggest that narrow and low-relief barriers are most vulnerable to be eroded away (width drowning) or overtaken by sea level rise (height drowning), respectively. Width drowning was also strongly associated with other model input parameters such as toe depth, sea level rise rate, and backbarrier critical bed shear stress, which suggests that sub-centennial drowning is dependent on a unique combination of input parameter values and may be averted (or delayed) with a single input parameter change. Barrier dynamics were significantly influenced by the backbarrier marsh platform, which was more impacted by sediment transport parameters such as critical bed shear stress and ocean sediment concentration than maximum annual overwash flux. This suggests that inorganic sediment deposition through tidal inlet dispersion is much more significant to the backbarrier marsh and lagoon system than overwash over sub-centennial timescales and can help to reduce the risk of width drowning.
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    Geomorphology, 451, 109087
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