Coastal Seminar 2018/19 – Dr Alexandra Toimil Silva

Speaker: Dr Alexandra Toimil Silva

Title: A probabilistic framework for the assessment of coastal erosion

When: Friday, 16 November 2018, 16:00–17:00

Where: Building 85/2207


Decision making for erosion risk reduction requires the use of probabilistic frameworks to obtain accurate predictions of beach erosion extremes. A statistical method to generate beach erosion hazards must take into account that this impact involves two or more random variables (i.e., significant wave height, sea level) and that the erosion process depends on storm duration and antecedent beach conditions, which relies in turn on beach recovery between storms. A probabilistic approach is proposed to model the shoreline response to cross-shore forcing both historically and throughout the twenty-first century. Cross section–based equilibrium models are combined to assess beach erosion induced by local waves, storm surge, astronomical tide and mean sea-level rise. The approach incorporates the potential impacts that tidal inlets could have on the long-term evolution of adjacent beaches as sink terms in the beaches’ budget. The methodology has been applied to a large number of beaches along the Cantabrian coast, providing probabilistic estimates of coastline recession that account for sea level rise uncertainty.


Alexandra Toimil is Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Environmental Hydraulics Institute “IHCantabria”. She is working in the field of climate change, adaptation and risk reduction in coastal areas. Her interests and expertise are mainly related to impact modelling, with a special focus on flooding and erosion, risk assessment and adaptation planning.