PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2009, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (2): 174-186.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2009.02.003

• Original Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Progress in Applications of the EOF Analysis in the Research of Coastal Geomorphology and Sedimentology

XIA Fei1, ZHANG Yongzhan1, WU Wei2   

  1. 1. School of Geographic and Oceanographic Sciences, Nanjing University|The Key Laboratory of Coastal and Island Development, MOE, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China;
    2. Department of Oceanography, School of Atmospheric Science, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing 210044, China
  • Received:2008-11-01 Revised:2009-01-01 Online:2009-03-25 Published:2009-03-25


The processes and mechanisms of coastal geomorphological evolution are the main tasks of the current research on coastal geomorphology and sedimentology. However, for the coastal zones that are high-dimensional and non-linear systems, their behavior has not been understood well, so predicting sediment transport and coastal geomorphological evolution in these areas are difficult tasks. The physically based prediction models are not modelling well, especially at larger temporal and spatial scales. Data-driving models can resolve such problems to a certain extent, and prior to the establishment of data-driving models, the EOF analysis technique can detect and quantify dominant patterns in the data and their evolution in time and space effectively, as well as how different patterns are related to each other. Thus, it is possible to obtain valuable information on the behavior of coastal zones that may be used not only for developing data-driving models, but also for increasing the understanding of the factors governing the geomorphological evolution, so it can improve the understanding of the processes and mechanisms of coastal geomorphological evolution. Based on a great deal of domestic and oversea references, this paper firstly introduces the principle of the EOF analysis technique, then makes a review of the progress in applications of the EOF analysis in studies of coastal geomorphological and sedimentary problems as the following aspects, characteristics of temporal and spatial changes on sandy and muddy coast profiles, characteristics of temporal and spatial changes of nearshore submarine erosion/accretion and their predictions, distribution of sediments grain sizes and sediments transportation et al., it also analyzes problems and deficiencies in the study cases, and proposes that the current research work should pay more attention to the following three main aspects in order to realize the deeper applications and development of the EOF analysis in the research of coastal geomorphology and sedimentology. First, the temporal and spatial resolution of field data and collection measures must be upgraded; the data types analyzed should be broadened. Second, the processes and mechanisms of coastal geomorphological evolution which the EOF analysis has revealed must be digged deeply in order to provide valuable information for numerical simulation at a certain scale. Third, the EOF analysis technique should be used with other linear or non -linear analysis methods for further data analysis or simulations.

Key words: characteristics of temporal and spatial changes, coastal geomorphology and sedimentology, prediction of coastal geomor -phological evolution, process and mechanism, the EOF analysis