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Discussion papers | Copyright
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 15 Jun 2018

Research article | 15 Jun 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal Earth Surface Dynamics (ESurf).

Long-range dependence in coastal framework geology: Asymmetries and implications for barrier island resiliency

Phillipe Wernette1,2, Chris Houser1, Bradley Weymer3, Mark Everett4, Michael Bishop2, and Bobby Reece4 Phillipe Wernette et al.
  • 1University of Windsor, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Windsor, Ontario N9B 3P4, Canada
  • 2Texas A&M University, Department of Geography, College Station, Texas 77843, USA
  • 3GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean R esearch Kiel, 24148 Kiel, Germany
  • 4Texas A&M University, Department of Geology and Geophysics, College Station, Texas 77843, USA

Abstract. Barrier island transgression is influenced by the alongshore variation in beach and dune morphology, which determines the amount of sediment moved landward through washover. While several studies have demonstrated how variations in dune morphology affect island response to storms, the reasons for that variation and the implications for island management remain unclear. This paper builds on previous research by demonstrating that the framework geology can influence beach and dune morphology asymmetrically alongshore. The influence of relict paleo-channels on beach and dune morphology on Padre Island National Seashore, Texas was quantified by isolating the long-range dependence (LRD) parameter in autoregressive fractionally-integrated moving average (ARFIMA) models. ARFIMA models were fit across all scales and a moving window approach was used to examine how LRD varied with computational scale and location along the island. The resulting LRD matrices were plotted by latitude to place the results in context of previously identified variations in the framework geology. Results indicate that the LRD is not constant alongshore for all surface morphometrics. Many flares in the LRD plots correlate to relict infilled paleo-channels in the framework geology, indicating that the framework geology has a significant influence on the morphology of PAIS. Barrier island surface morphology LRD is strongest at large paleo-channels and decreases to the north. The spatial patterns in LRD surface morphometrics and framework geology variations demonstrate that the influence of paleo-channels in the framework geology can be asymmetric where the alongshore sediment transport gradient was unidirectional during island development. The asymmetric influence of framework geology on coastal morphology has long-term implications for coastal management activities because it dictates the long-term behavior of a barrier island. Coastal management projects should first seek to understand how the framework geology influences coastal processes in order to more effectively balance long-term natural variability with short-term societal pressure.

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Phillipe Wernette et al.
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Short summary
Barrier islands change through time and space in response to natural and human forces. This paper demonstrates that barrier island development and the beach-dune system can be influenced asymmetrically during island development by ancient and buried river valleys that cross the modern barrier island. Given the importance of the natural environment, coastal management projects should first seek to understand how the island developed in order to more effectively balance natural and human pressure.
Barrier islands change through time and space in response to natural and human forces. This...