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Hydrology 2019, 6(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/hydrology6010008

Spatiotemporal Surface Moisture Variations on a Barred Beach and their Relationship with Groundwater Fluctuations

Department of Physical Geography, Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University, P.O. Box 80.115, 3508 TC Utrecht, The Netherlands
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Received: 11 December 2018 / Revised: 4 January 2019 / Accepted: 8 January 2019 / Published: 15 January 2019
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Abstract

Understanding the spatiotemporal variability of surface moisture on a beach is a necessity to develop a quantitatively accurate predictive model for aeolian sand transport from the beach into the foredune. Here, we analyze laser-derived surface moisture maps with a 1 × 1 m spatial and a 15-min temporal resolution and concurrent groundwater measurements collected during falling and rising tide at the barred Egmond beach, the Netherlands. Consistent with earlier studies, the maps show that the beach can be conceptualized into three surface moisture zones. First, the wet zone just above the low tide level: 18–25%; second, the intertidal zone: 5–25% with large fluctuations. In this zone, surface moisture can decrease with a rate varying between ∼2.5–4% per hour, and cumulatively with 16% during a single falling tide; and, third, the back beach zone: 3–7% (dry). The bar–trough system perturbs this overall zonation, with the moisture characteristics on the bar similar to the upper intertidal beach and the trough always remaining wet. Surface moisture fluctuations are strongly linked to the behavior of groundwater depth and can be described by a ’Van Genuchten-type’ retention curve without hysteresis effects. Applying the Van Genuchten relationship with measured groundwater data allows us to predict surface moisture maps. Results show that the predictions capture the overall surface moisture pattern reasonably well; however, alongshore variability in groundwater level should be improved to refine the predicted surface moisture maps, especially near the sandbar. View Full-Text
Keywords: surface moisture; coastal groundwater; barred beach; aeolian sand transport; terrestrial laser scanner surface moisture; coastal groundwater; barred beach; aeolian sand transport; terrestrial laser scanner
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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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Smit, Y.; Donker, J.J.A.; Ruessink, G. Spatiotemporal Surface Moisture Variations on a Barred Beach and their Relationship with Groundwater Fluctuations. Hydrology 2019, 6, 8.

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