Foredune morphological changes and beach recovery from the extreme 2013/2014 winter at a high-energy sandy coast

Abstract : The beach-dune response at Truc Vert, SW France, is analysed using DGPS topographic surveys sampled every 2–4 weeks covering an alongshore distance of 1.5 km, combined with wave, tide and extreme water level hindcast and beach/dune photographs. During the 2013/2014 winter, which was the most energetic since at least 1948, the beach-dune system at Truc Vert eroded by approximately 180 m3 per beach width divided equally between beach and dune erosion. Beach and dune erosion was strongly variable alongshore, with cuspate-type rhythmic dune erosion scarps stripped of vegetation with a cross-shore amplitude of 25 m. The alongshore-variable scarps were coupled with an alongshore variability in elevation of the beach, with lower beach levels co-located with the megacusp bays. The following 10 months showed modest morphological beach and dune changes with, for instance, destabilisation of the scarped dune by trough blowouts, scarp slumping and filling and seasonal beach berm dynamics. The most profound morphological and vegetation changes occurred during the subsequent 10 months. Only 1.5 years after that winter, the beach-dune system at Truc Vert almost recovered to its pre-winter volume, but not to its pre-winter foredune profile. Most of the sand volume recovery occurred during spring-summer-autumn 2015 when approximately 120 m3/m of sand naturally came back in the system. The beach volume recovery rate was relatively steady and uncorrelated with wave conditions, with rates twice as large across the megacusp bay profile as across the that of the megacusp horns. During that period, the widened and risen dry beach provided large fetch length enhancing onshore windblown transport and a rapid rising of the backshore. The slumped and filled dune scarp, which was providing a high barrier to aeolian transport from the beach to the dune since the 2013/2014 winter, reformed as a dune ramp providing efficient conduit for beach-dune delivery/exchange of sediment by the end of the study. This process favoured both natural revegetation into the scarp and incipient foredune formation. Despite the reinstatement of natural processes between the beach and the dune, the dune foot was still located landward by more than 10 m on average with respect to its pre-2013/2014 winter position. This study shows that even after the most severe winter over the last 68 years in terms of average wave energy arriving at the coast, beach recovery can be a relatively fast process along high-energy sandy beaches backed by large dunes. In contrast foredune recovery, which timing and magnitude can provide a proxy measure for the resilience of the system to climatic variability and change, is a much slower process that can take years to decades.
Type de document :
Article dans une revue
Marine Geology, Elsevier, 2017, 385, pp.41-55. 〈10.1016/j.margeo.2016.12.006〉
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Soumis le : mercredi 1 février 2017 - 16:58:12
Dernière modification le : mardi 5 juin 2018 - 10:14:23



Bruno Castelle, Stéphane Bujan, Sophie Ferreira, Guillaume Dodet. Foredune morphological changes and beach recovery from the extreme 2013/2014 winter at a high-energy sandy coast. Marine Geology, Elsevier, 2017, 385, pp.41-55. 〈10.1016/j.margeo.2016.12.006〉. 〈hal-01452229〉



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