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J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2016, 4(2), 38; doi:10.3390/jmse4020038

A Conceptual Model for Spatial Grain Size Variability on the Surface of and within Beaches

1
Department of Biology, Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, PA 17603, USA
2
Field Research Facility, Coastal Hydraulics Laboratory, USACE, Duck, NC 27949, USA
3
Hydraulic Engineering, Delft University of Technology, 2628 CD Delft, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Gerben Ruessink
Received: 1 February 2016 / Revised: 30 March 2016 / Accepted: 22 April 2016 / Published: 25 May 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coastal Morphodynamics)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [11246 KB, uploaded 25 May 2016]   |  

Abstract

Grain size on the surface of natural beaches has been observed to vary spatially and temporally with morphology and wave energy. The stratigraphy of the beach at Duck, North Carolina, USA was examined using 36 vibracores (~1–1.5 m long) collected along a cross-shore beach profile. Cores show that beach sediments are finer (~0.3 mm) and more uniform high up on the beach. Lower on the beach, with more swash and wave action, the sand is reworked, segregated by size, and deposited in layers and patches. At the deepest measurement sites in the swash (~−1.4 to −1.6 m NAVD88), which are constantly being reworked by the energetic shore break, there is a thick layer (60–80 cm) of very coarse sediment (~2 mm). Examination of two large trenches showed that continuous layers of coarse and fine sands comprise beach stratigraphy. Thicker coarse layers in the trenches (above mean sea level) are likely owing to storm erosion and storm surge elevating the shore break and swash, which act to sort the sediment. Those layers are buried as water level retreats, accretion occurs and the beach recovers from the storm. Thinner coarse layers likely represent similar processes acting on smaller temporal scales. View Full-Text
Keywords: grain size; stratigraphy; morphology; morphodynamics; storms; sediment; beach; swash; shore break; depth of disturbance grain size; stratigraphy; morphology; morphodynamics; storms; sediment; beach; swash; shore break; depth of disturbance
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Gallagher, E.; Wadman, H.; McNinch, J.; Reniers, A.; Koktas, M. A Conceptual Model for Spatial Grain Size Variability on the Surface of and within Beaches. J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2016, 4, 38.

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