O'Shea, M. and Murphy, J., 2013. Predicting and monitoring the evolution of a coastal barrier dune system postbreaching.
A study of the morphodynamic evolution of a midbay barrier beach system of Inner Dingle Bay, County Kerry, Ireland is presented. The system has been under observation by the Hydraulics and Maritime Research Centre (HMRC) of University College Cork since 2008 when the Rossbeigh barrier breached. This event had been the culmination of 10 years of intensive erosion. Since breaching occurred, erosion rates have continued to increase on Rossbeigh, while offshore an ebb tidal delta continues to grow. Similar barrier inlet systems are examined in order to identify trends and features that might provide an insight into the future morphology of Dingle Bay. The study utilises field data collection sediment transport analysis and remote sensing to understand the coastal processes driving the systems evolution. The changing orientation of Rossbeigh, the relative stability of the Inch barrier beach, and the variability in ebb tidal delta were the findings of the long-term morphological part of the study. The influence of the ebb tidal delta on wave refraction, emergence of a vegetated gravel ridge in the breach zone, and the role of tidal currents in sediment transport along Rossbeigh are significant findings of the monitoring campaign. These results provide indicators of future evolution of the system. The study concludes that the realignment of the beach will continue on Rossbeigh beach while alongshore tidal currents dominate sediment transport in the breached area.