Breaching of barrier islands can adversely impact society by severing infrastructure, destroying private properties, and altering water quality in back bays and estuaries. This study provides a scheme that assesses the relative vulnerability of a barrier island to breach during storms. Dauphin Island, Alabama was selected for this study because it has a well documented history of island breaches and extensive geological and geomorphic data. To assess the vulnerability of the island, we defined several variables contributing to the risk of breaching: island geology, breaching history, and island topography and geomorphology. These variables were combined to form a breaching index (BI) value for cross island computational bins, each bin every 50 m in the alongshore direction. Results suggest the eastern section of Dauphin Island has the lowest risk of breaching with the remaining portion of the island having a moderate to high risk of breaching. Two reaches in the western section of the island were found to be particularly vulnerable due primarily to their minimal cross-sectional dimensions.
|Title||Barrier island vulnerability to breaching: a case study on Dauphin Island, Alabama|
|Authors||Mark Hansen, Asbury H. Sallenger|
|Publication Type||Conference Paper|
|Publication Subtype||Conference Paper|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Coastal and Marine Geology Program|