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Earth Surface Dynamics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-2018-5
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
31 Jan 2018
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal Earth Surface Dynamics (ESurf).
Statistical modeling of the long-range dependent structure of barrier island framework geology and surface geomorphology
Bradley A. Weymer1,2, Phillipe Wernette3, Mark E. Everett2, and Chris Houser3 1GEOMAR – Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research Kiel, Wischhofstraße 1–3, 24148 Kiel, Germany
2Texas A&M University, Department of Geology and Geophysics, College Station, Texas 77843, USA
3University of Windsor, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Windsor, Ontario N9B 3P4, Canada
Abstract. Shorelines exhibit long-range dependence (LRD) and have been shown in some environments to be described in the wavenumber domain by a power law characteristic of scale-independence. Recent evidence suggests that the geomorphology of barrier islands can, however, exhibit scale dependence as a result of systematic variations of the underlying framework geology. The LRD of framework geology, which influences island geomorphology and its response to storms and sea level rise, has not been previously examined. Electromagnetic induction (EMI) surveys conducted along Padre Island National Seashore (PAIS), Texas, USA, reveal that the EMI apparent conductivity σa signal and, by inference, the framework geology exhibits LRD at scales up to 101 to 102 km. Our study demonstrates the utility of describing EMI σa and LiDAR spatial series by a fractional auto-regressive integrated moving average process that specifically models LRD. This method offers a robust and compact way for quantifying the geological variations along a barrier island shoreline using three parameters (p,d,q). We discuss how ARIMA (0,d,0) models that use a single parameter d provide a quantitative measure for determining free and forced barrier island evolutionary behavior across different scales. Statistical analyses at regional, intermediate, and local scales suggest that the geologic framework within an area of paleo-channels exhibits a first order control on dune height. The exchange of sediment amongst nearshore, beach and dune in areas outside this region are scale-independent, implying that barrier islands like PAIS exhibit a combination of free and forced behaviors that affect the response of the island to sea level rise.
Citation: Weymer, B. A., Wernette, P., Everett, M. E., and Houser, C.: Statistical modeling of the long-range dependent structure of barrier island framework geology and surface geomorphology, Earth Surf. Dynam. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-2018-5, in review, 2018.
Bradley A. Weymer et al.
Bradley A. Weymer et al.
Bradley A. Weymer et al.

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Short summary
This research presents a new method for quantifying the geologic controls on modern barrier island evolution. We used statistical time series analysis to evaluate the scale-dependent vs. scale-independent behavior of a barrier island in south Texas, USA. By integrating subsurface geophysical with surface geomorphological measurements we show that the island exhibits both free, and forced evolutionary behavior that has important implications for how the island may respond to rising sea levels.
This research presents a new method for quantifying the geologic controls on modern barrier...
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