Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Engineering


Civil, Structural, & Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Dr Joseph Harrington


This project aims to develop a beach classification model that has been validated for use on Irish beaches. Beach classification models have been developed over the past six decades as a means of identifying the sedimentological, morphological and hydrodynamic beach features that are present on beaches. Beach classification models have been pioneered by researchers for beaches in Australia and have been subject to continuous development through the monitoring and research of beaches along the Australian coastline. Recently a similar model been developed for England and Wales based on data collected from beaches along the coastline. This report will investigate the existing beach classification models and the steps required to carry out the classification of a beach. The information required to carry out the classification of a beach includes the tidal range, wave climate, beach slope, sediment size and the presence of features such as sandbars, rips, cusps and vegetation. To determine the information that is required to carry out the classification of a beach requires the precise measurement of the various parameters. This required the use of GPS surveying equipment and post processing software wave and tide data sets, Mike 21 wave modelling software. Sediment sampling and Particle size analysis tests. All of the beaches selected are located along the County Cork Coastline including Barleycove Beach, the Warren Beach, Inchydoney Beach, Rocky Bay Beach, Inch Beach and Youghal Beach. An Irish Beach Classification model is then presented based on six of the groups in the England and Wales Beach Classification model; recommendations on conducting the classification of a beach and for further research are also outlined.

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