Little, D.I. and Bullimore, B., 2015. Discussion of: McLaren, P., 2014. Sediment trend analysis (STA®): Kinematic vs. dynamic modeling. Journal of Coastal Research 30(3), 429–437.
The first sediment trend analysis (STA) in the United Kingdom was of Milford Haven Waterway, in 1987. Its findings and recommendations have since been tested intensively in terms of physical, chemical, and biological field data and have not been found wanting in the high profile of a major oil and gas port located in an internationally important conservation area. This discussion summarizes a wide range of multidisciplinary evidence that supports the STA method and conclusions. The STA kinematic approach has helped to generate falsifiable hypotheses for further research of the coastal and estuarine processes in the waterway. The results also provide a robust framework for monitoring and managing its environment. The approach could be used in combination with dynamic modeling but without necessarily waiting on a detailed understanding of all the variables. This simple philosophy is illustrated by McLaren's timely reminder of two historic debates in the Earth sciences: the age of the Earth and continental drift. Some additional thoughts on these classic struggles are provided.