Introduction; p.1-14

1. Understand the main issues confronting man in the coastal environment.

2. Understand the dynamic equilibrium at the coast, with air, water, and sediment constantly in motion.

3. Understand the different positions of coastal engineers and geologists in the "shoreline debate".

4. Know the role of the Coastal Engineering Manual (CEM) (formerly the Shore Protection Manual, SPM) and why it is published by the Corps of Engineers.


Coastal morphology & classification; p.16-43

1. Differentiate the major erosional and accretional features of shorelines.

2. Discuss the episodic nature of cliff erosion.

3. Discuss the history and development of barrier islands.

4. Describe coastal classification systems, especially the preferred system based on plate tectonics.


Sediment compositions; p.45-53

1. Discuss the different minerals present on beaches: quartz, calcite, heavy minerals, and volcanic fragments.

2. Discuss the use of heavy minerals to trace sediment sources.

3. Discuss the factors controlling the mean sediment size distribution on beaches

4. Describe grain size sorting on beaches, both across the beach and in the longshore direction.


Sediment budgets; p.66-72

1. Understand the major categories of a sediment budget, and why many workers add a third category (convecting process) to the sinks and sources.

2. Explain the following sediment sources: rivers, shoreline erosion, transport from offshore, wind, carbonate productions, and beach replenishment.

3. Explain the following sediment sinks: inlets and lagoons, overwash, dune storage, offshore slopes, submarine canyons, deflation, carbonate loss, and mining and dredging.

4. Know the magnitude of annual sediment budgets.


Tides in shallow water; p.87-88; 95-96

1. Discuss the complexities of tides in shallow water, including tidal bores and tidal asymmetry.

2. Discuss the causes and magnitudes of storm surges.

3. Discuss the asymmetry of the storm surge on either side of the eye of a hurricane.


Sea level rise; p.101-121

1. Describe the problems with relative sea level, and the differences between isostatic and eustatic sea level rise.

2. Discuss the changes in sea level over the past century.

3. Discuss the changes in sea level during and after the last ice age.

4. Discuss the estimates for future sea level, and the difficulty in making those predictions.

5. Know the best estimates for the current rate of global sea level rise.


Coastal response to sea level rise; p.121-129

1. Describe the predictions of the Bruun rule.

2. Describe other coastal responses to rising sea level, including rollover and overstepping.


Waves; p.139-151

1. Understand the key variables for waves, including the wave climate (T, Ho ,ao), and the equivalence of the subscripts Ho and H.

2. Discuss measurement of waves in the nearshore environment and offshore.

3. Know the definitions of significant wave height and period.


Wave theories ; p.160-176

1. Discuss the variables in the wave climate (T, Ho ,ao).

2. Discuss the differences in Airy and Stokes wave theories.

3. Calculate wave length, celerity, and wave height for waves approaching the shore, using linear wave theory and a table of d/Lo.

4. Understand how group velocity changes as a wave approaches the shore


Wave shoaling; p.183-189

1. Discuss the changes in wave shape, water orbitals, height, and wavelength as it approaches the shoreline.

2. Relate these changes to the equations of Airy wave theory.


Wave refraction; p.189-196

1. Calculate wave refraction for the simple case of straight coasts with parallel contours (Snell’s Law).

2. Discuss refraction in terms of either wave crests, or orthogonals/wave rays

3. Discuss the differences in refraction at headlands and bays.


Wave breaking; p.208-216; p.231-232

1. Classify wave breakers(spilling, plunging, and surging) and the beach and wave conditions responsible for them.

2. Discuss the complications in determining where a wave will break.

3. Discuss the formation and importance of the undertow.


Sediment grain sizes;   Coastal Engineering Manual, Chap III-1, p.4-14

1. Know the phi scale and be able to convert between phi units and mm.

2. Know the limits of the sand size range.

3. Know the variables that define the lognormal distribution: mean and standard deviation.

4. Calculate mean, median, standard deviation, and skewness for sediments with lognormal distributions.

5. Graph and interpret sediment size analyses, on both normal probability paper and typical graph paper.

6. Discuss the changes in sediment (sorting, size, mineral diversity, and rounding) that take place during transport.

7. Discuss the concepts of basal shear stress and critical basal shear stress, how they relate to fluid velocity and the initiation of sediment motion.

8. Discuss how the asymmetry of wave shape in shallow water leads to differences in the basal shear stress under crests and troughs, and how this leads to sediment sorting.


Beach morphology; p.276-291

1. Discuss the importance of the closure depth, and the general shape of offshore beach profiles.

2. Discuss the factors that contribute to the slope of the beach at the shore, particularly wave steepness and sediment size.

3. Describe the formation of the berm and the controls on its height.


Longshore bars; p.292-302

1. Describe the morphology of longshore bars and the associated troughs, and their relation to the waves.

2. Discuss the conditions leading to multiple bars and the absence of bars.


Profile changes from storms, tides, & winds; p.302-314; 324-326

1. Describe how bars change due to storms, and the time scale and stages for beach recovery after a storm.

2. Describe how tides change bars.

3. Discuss the effect of wave asymmetry in the Stokes model for sediment transport.


Cell circulation: Longshore and rip currents. p.336-354

1. Discuss the flow of rip currents and cell circulation.

2. Discuss the relations of edge waves, breaker heights, and rip current locations.

3. Discuss the characteristics and reasons for formation of the longshore current.

4. Understand the development of the Longuet-Higgins equation, and use it to predict longshore current velocity.


Response to engineering structures; p.378-387

1. Know the main types of engineering structures and the purpose of each: groins/groynes, jetties, breakwaters, and seawalls.

2. Discuss the options available for dealing with the problem of coastal erosion.

3. Discuss the concept of design lifetime for engineering structures.

4. Discuss the problems caused by littoral drift for engineering structures.

5. Discuss how longshore drift can be measured, and the range of typical values.


Cusps & bars; p.456-461; 470-486

1. Discuss the range of scales on which cusps form.

2. Discuss cusp morphology, and its dependence on sediment size, beach slope, and tidal range.

3. Discuss the development of rip current embayments, crescentic bars, and welded and transverse bars.


Morphodynamic classification p.486-493

1. Discuss the ideal end members of a reflective and a dissipative beach in terms of slope, sediment grain size, breaker zone, and breaker type.

2. Discuss how storms shift the profiles from reflective toward dissipative.

3. Understand that variable numbers of intermediate stages have been recognized, and that the intermediate forms tend to have more three dimensional variation than the ideal end members.


Protection; p.497-500

1. Discuss the options available for dealing with an erosion problem once the coast has been developed.

2. Discuss when retreat is the easiest and best option for dealing with shoreline erosion.


Beach nourishment; p.500-517

1. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of nourishment.

2. Discuss the possible sources for sand for nourishment, and the criteria for a good source.

3. Discuss where the sand for nourishment can be placed, and the advantages and disadvantages of each location.

4. Discuss the debate about the success or failure of beach nourishment projects.


Hard solutions; p.517-534

1. Discuss the effects of a seawall or revetment on the beach in front of the structure, including reflection and scour, and the effect on adjacent properties.

2. Discuss the effects of groins on the nearshore environment, and the design criteria (length and spacing).

3. Discuss the uses and effects of detached breakwaters.


Tsunamis, hurricanes; p.196-199

1. Understand the concept of recurrence interval for hurricanes.

2. Understand that tsunamis are shallow water waves generated by underwater earthquakes.

3. Understand that a tsunami generates a series of waves with 10-20 minute periods, and that while the deep water wave height is insignificant that the coastal runup can be extreme.