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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-2019-76
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-2019-76
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 04 Feb 2020

Submitted as: research article | 04 Feb 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ESurf.

Storm-induced sediment supply to coastal dunes on sand flats

Filipe Galiforni-Silva, Kathelijne M. Wijnberg, and Suzanne J. M. H. Hulscher Filipe Galiforni-Silva et al.
  • Water Engineering & Management, Faculty of Engineering Technology, University of Twente, P.O. Box 217, 7500 AE, Enschede, The Netherlands

Abstract. Growth of coastal dunes requires a marine supply of sediment. Processes that control the sediment transfer between the sub-tidal and the supra-tidal zone are not fully understood, especially in sand flats close to inlets. It is hypothesised that storm surge events induce sediment deposition on sand flats, providing fresh material for aeolian transport and dune growth. The objective of this study is to identify which processes cause deposition on the sand flat during storm surge conditions and discuss the relationship between the supra-tidal deposition and sediment supply to the dunes. We use the island of Texel as a case study, of which multi-annual topographic and hydrographic data sets are available. Additionally, we use the numerical model XBeach to simulate the most frequent storm surge events for the area. Results show that supra-tidal shore-parallel deposition of sand occurs in both the numerical model and the topographic data. The amount of sand deposition is directly proportional to surge level and can account for more than a quarter of the volume deposited at the dunes yearly. Furthermore, storm surges are also capable of remobilising the top layer of sediment of the sand flat, making fresh sediment available for aeolian transport. Therefore, in a sand flat setting, storm surges have the potential of reworking significant amounts of sand for aeolian transport in periods after the storm, and as such can also play a constructive role in coastal dune development.

Filipe Galiforni-Silva et al.

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Filipe Galiforni-Silva et al.

Filipe Galiforni-Silva et al.

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Latest update: 26 Feb 2020
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Short summary
Storm surges are often related to coastal dune erosion. We found that, for specific coastal settings, storm surges may enhance dune growth rather than only undermine it. Using a computer model and elevation data, we noticed that storm surges could deposit sand onto the sand flat from sand previously deposited closer to the sea. As they move to areas farther from the sea, it becomes easier for the wind to move this sand to the dunes. These findings may help coastal managers and policymakers.
Storm surges are often related to coastal dune erosion. We found that, for specific coastal...
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