Quantifying the Geomorphic Resiliency of Barrier Island Beaches

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Book Chapter

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Hurricane Sandy had an extensive impact on the beaches along the Atlantic coast. To quantify beach recovery, and examine alongshore variations in coastal resiliency, we develop a morphometric within the upper portion of the beach that is based on observed historical storm response at Fire Island, NY. The beach change envelope (BCE) boundaries are elevation contours which capture the portion of the upper beach that experiences erosion during moderate events but is above the influence of tides and lesser events. The data include ten profile sites that were surveyed seventeen times from October 2012 to October 2014. The time series indicate that there is a temporal trend towards widening and increasing elevation of the BCE that may represent a recovery state of the beach. Rates of recovery are generally higher in undeveloped locations, and areas where dunes did not overwash tend to favor more rapid recovery of the upper beach.

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Quantifying the Geomorphic Resiliency of Barrier Island Beaches, in P. Wang, J. D. Rosati & J. Cheng (Eds.), Coastal Sediments 2015, World Scientific Publishing