Numerical modelling of pan-arctic erosion using globally-available forcing data

rebecca.rolph [ at ]


As air temperatures rise and sea ice cover declines in the Arctic, permafrost coastal cliffs thaw more rapidly and wave energy rises. Thus, as the open water season continues to lengthen, climate change triggers a large part of the Arctic shoreline to become increasingly vulnerable to erosion. Arctic erosion supplies nutrient-laden and carbon-rich sediment into nearshore ecosystems. A retreating coastline also has consequences for residential, cultural, and industrial infrastructure. Despite its importance, erosion is currently neglected in global climate models, and existing physics-based numerical models of Arctic shoreline erosion are too complex and regionally-focused to be applied on a pan-Arctic scale. Here, we apply our simplified numerical erosion model, ArcticBeach v1.0, to the entire Arctic coastline. ArcticBeach v1.0 has previously been shown to simulate retreat rates at two sites that differ substantially in their main mechanisms of retreat (sub-aerial erosion/thaw slumping versus notch/block erosion). The model uses heat and sediment volume balances in order to predict horizontal cliff retreat and vertical erosion of a fronting beach. It contains an erosion module that uses empirical equations to estimate cross-shore sediment transport, coupled to a storm surge module forced by wind. We present Arctic maps of regional variation in trends in 2-meter air temperature, sea ice concentration, and wind speed.

Item Type
Conference (Poster)
Primary Division
Primary Topic
Helmholtz Cross Cutting Activity (2021-2027)
Publication Status
Event Details
American Geophysical Union Conference 2021, 13 Dec 2021 - 17 Dec 2021, Hybrid Online and in New Orleans.
Eprint ID
Cite as
Rolph, R. , Lantuit, H. , Overduin, P. P. and Langer, M. (2021): Numerical modelling of pan-arctic erosion using globally-available forcing data , American Geophysical Union Conference 2021, Hybrid Online and in New Orleans, 13 December 2021 - 17 December 2021 .

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