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The results of a series of 2DH numerical and 3D scaled physical modelling tests indicate that processes governing shoreline response to submerged structures, such as artificial surfing reefs, are different from those associated with emergent offshore breakwaters. Unlike the case of emergent offshore breakwaters, where shoreline accretion (salient development) is expected under all structural/environmental conditions, the principal mode of shoreline response to submerged structures can vary between erosive and accretive, depending on the offshore distance to the structure. The predominant wave incidence angle and structure crest level also have important implications on the magnitude of shoreline response, but not on the mode of shoreline response (i.e. erosion vs. accretion). Based on the results obtained here, a predictive empirical relationship is proposed as a preliminary engineering tool to assess shoreline response to submerged structures. Crown Copyright (C) 2006 Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.