Frias, P., Horta, J., Almeida, L.P., Pacheco, A., Ferreira, Ó., 2013. Development of a WebGIS tool to determine tidal inlet evolution. In: Conley,D.C., Masselink, G., Russel, P.E.and O'Hare, T. J. (eds.)
Research into the consequences of engineering works on the long-term behaviour of inlet systems has been hindered by the absence of suitable datasets, the shortcomings of existing formulae and evaluation tools. Cross-sectional channel areas adjust to hydrodynamics and sediment transport conditions. The impacts of a new inlet on the adjacent shoreline can be unpredictable and are difficult to quantify. This paper presents the development of a Web GIS tool (WebInletAnalyst) that allows any coastal or hydraulic engineer to autonomous extract the evolution of key tidal inlet parameters such as minimum cross-section area, inlet width, maximum depth and migration distance, from a set of bathymetric charts and raw data surveys. The tool is built on a web interface written and compiled using source codes. The tool was applied to a test case (Ancão Inlet, Ria Formosa, Portugal) using available datasets and compared with results from other studies, following the Coastal Engineering Manual guidelines. Overall results showed that mean differences between manual and automate techniques were small and randomly distributed. The user' definition of the location and orientation of minimum cross-section profile affects the accuracy of the tool. Further improvements on the available web interface tool are being tested to allow a magnified view of the inlet channel area and a better precision on sketching the minimum cross-section profile. The tool will be ultimately made available on Python code, allowing future further improvements and adaptations by the scientific community.