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Geologic framework, anthropogenic impacts, and hydrodynamics contribute to variable sediment availability and shoreface morphology at the Rockaway Peninsula, NY

July 20, 2022
Recent field and modeling studies have shown that barrier island resiliency is sensitive to sediment fluxes from the shoreface, making it important to evaluate how shoreface sediment availability varies in coastal systems. To do this, we assessed shoreface geology and morphology along the Rockaway Peninsula, NY, USA. We find that spatial variability in shoreface volume is influenced by sediment accommodation above the Holocene-Pleistocene (H-P) contact, historical barrier island evolution, and natural and engineered morphologic features, suggesting that simply identifying the H-P boundary may not be adequate for defining the shoreface reservoir. Further, sediment flux from the lower shoreface to the beach may be reduced by geologically limited cross-shore sediment distribution and shoreface steepening mediated by human modifications to the shoreline. Finally, the geologic limit of the shoreface is often shallower than a wave-based estimate of shoreface extent, implying that the geologic shoreface extent at our study site can be mobilized over short time scales (years-decades) and that the wave-based shoreface extent may be inaccurate when estimating shoreline response to sea-level rise. Our results demonstrate that the combination of hydrodynamics, humans, and geology on shoreface sediment fluxes impact how barrier islands respond to future changes in sediment supply and climate.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2022
Title Geologic framework, anthropogenic impacts, and hydrodynamics contribute to variable sediment availability and shoreface morphology at the Rockaway Peninsula, NY
DOI 10.3390/jmse10070989
Authors Emily A. Wei, Jennifer L. Miselis
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Marine Science and Engineering
Series Number
Index ID 70233593
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center