Meso-scale modelling of aeolian sediment input to coastal dunes

Irene Delgado-Fernandez

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

    73 Citations (Scopus)
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    The collection of a time series coupling hourly wind data (speed and direction) with sand transport over months has provided new insights into the dynamics of transport events that input sediment to the foredune at Greenwich Dunes, Prince Edward Island National Park, Canada. This paper summarises the key aspects of aeolian sedimentmovement for a period of 9 months and presents a modelling approach for resolving aeolian transport to coastal dunes at the meso-scale. The main hypothesis of the modelling approach is that a small number of key factors control both the occurrence and the magnitude of transport events. Thresholds associated with these factors may be used to filter the time series and isolate potential transport periods over the year. The impacts of nearshore processes are included in the approach as part of the dynamics of coastal dunes, as are supply-limiting factors and trade-offs between fetch distances, angle of wind approach, and beach dimensions. A simple analytical procedure, based on previously published equations, is carried out to assess the general viability of the conceptual approach. Results show that the incorporation of moisture and fetch effects in the calculation of transport for isolated potential transport periods result in improved predictions of sediment input to the dune. Net changes, measured with three different techniques, suggest that survey data with coarse temporal resolution underestimates the amount of sand input to the dune, because sediment is often removed from the embryo dune and foredune by other processes such as wave scarping. Predictions obtained by the proposed modelling approach are of the same order of magnitude as measured deposition and much less than predicted by models based solely on wind speed and direction. Areas for improvement and alternative modelling approaches, such as probabilistic approaches similar to weather forecasting, are covered in the discussion.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)230-243
    Issue number3-4
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


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