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The enormous and growing scale of human intervention in coastal processes is driven by a short-sighted societal desire to protect property in the face of shoreline recession. Underpinning this effort in both the design of engineering interventions and the amelioration of their impacts is the application of numerical models that purport to simulate and predict coastal processes. Coasts are complex systems in which (1) waves, currents, tides, and wind operate on a (2) finite or changing volume of sediment of specific character (3) within a particular geological context. Feedbacks exist within and between these three domains, and all are temporally...

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