Storminess and sea-level can both have a significant impact on landforms in cyclone-prone coastal regions, although much of our understanding comes from short-timescale modern observations. This study aims to understand the variability of sediment transport and deposition in the Choctawhatchee Bay/Santa Rosa Island in the northern Gulf of Mexico, establishing the dominant sediment transport processes and morphological response of the barrier system to long-term variations in storminess and rising sea-levels.
Here, we study the spatial and temporal changes in physicochemical properties of the sedimentary record of Choctawhatchee Bay to examine the character and fidelity of records of storm impacts spanning the Holocene. Proxies for marine and terrestrial conditions in the cores situated closer to the present barrier (proximal) show that sedimentation in coastal areas and marine influence of the bay during the last ~8000 yrs. were mainly determined by barrier response to the Holocene transgression and changes in storminess. In contrast, sedimentation close to the landward shore was governed by terrigenous input. The correlation of grain size and terrigenous proxies with regional hurricane records indicates that hinterland erosion by the rainfall during hurricane events is likely the dominant terrigenous sediment transport mechanism in areas close to the landward shore of the bay. These results suggest that sediment archives in large coastal deposition environments are equally suitable for sea level and cyclone modulated coastal morphological studies and paleo tropical cyclone studies, depending on the location, selected with an understanding of sedimentation processes in the vicinity.
|Title||Complex sedimentary processes in large coastal embayments and their potential for coastal morphological and paleo tropical cyclone studies: A case study from Choctawhatchee Bay Western Florida, U.S.A|
|Authors||P. N. Ranasinghe, Jeffrey P. Donnelly, R. L. Evans, Jessica R. Rodysill, N. U. Nanayakkara, Peter J. van Hengstum, Andrea D. Hawkes, Richard Sullivan, Michael Toomey|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||Marine Geology|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Florence Bascom Geoscience Center|