“The roles of storminess and sea level rise in decadal barrier island evolution” published

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A new manuscript published in Geophysical Research Letters by Davina Passeri (Research Oceanographer, SPCMSC) with USGS, USACE and academic collaborators illustrates how barrier islands will respond to changes in sea level and storminess over decadal time scales. 

Model contrasts less frequent, less intense storms vs. more frequent, more intense storms into the future

Storm and sea level rise scenario models, like the one shown here, can be used to explore the future. This model shows what Dauphin Island may look like 10 years from now if storms become stronger and more frequent (Passeri and others, 2018). (Credit: RC Mickey, USGS. Public domain.)

A study recently published in Geophysical Research Letters by SPCMSC Research Oceanographer Davina Passeri with USGS, USACE and academic collaborators describes how barrier islands evolve over decadal time scales. The study used computational models to assess the future response of a barrier island to higher sea levels and changes in frequency and intensity of storms (storminess). The study showed that both increased sea level rise and increased storminess resulted in less of the island keeping pace and more of the island losing height and width; this increased the vulnerability of the island to breaching during storm events. Under the most frequent and intense storm scenarios, the island lost significant amounts of land and drowned in just 10 years. “The roles of storminess and sea level rise in decadal barrier island evolution” is published by Geophysical Research Letters, an AGU publication.

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Date published: December 6, 2017
Status: Active

Alabama Barrier Island Restoration Study

Scientists are collecting geologic data and developing a numerical model framework to understand the evolution of Dauphin Island over the last 15-20 years and assess the future evolution of the island over the next 15-50 years, including the impacts of potential restoration scenarios.