Aeolian dynamics over a coastal foredune, Prince Edward Island, Canada

Patrick Hesp, Ian Walker, Connie Chapman, Robin Davidson-Arnott, Bernard Bauer

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    27 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Near-surface airflow over a morphologically simple, vegetated, 8 m high foredune with a small wave-cut scarp was measured for onshore to oblique-onshore conditions during a low-moderate (5-6 m s-1 ) wind event and a high velocity (11-18 m s-1) sand-transporting gale event. Flow across the foredune was characterized by significant flow compression and acceleration up and across the foredune during both events. During the gale, a pronounced jet (speed bulge) developed at the foredune crest, which increased in magnitude with increasing wind speed. The vertical (W) velocity component of the 3D flow field was positive (upwards) across the stoss slope under low wind conditions but negative (downwards) during gale wind conditions, with upslope acceleration. During the low velocity event, there was speed-down within the vegetation canopy, as would be expected for a porous roughness cover. During the strong wind event there was speed-up in the lower portion of the vegetation canopy, and this was found up the entire stoss slope. Sediment transport during the gale force event was substantial across the beach and foredune despite the moderate vegetation cover and minimum fetch. Aeolian suspension was evident in the lee of the dune crest. The observations presented herein show that strong storm winds are an effective mechanism for translating sediment landwards across a high vegetated foredune, contributing sediment to the stoss slope, crest and leeward slopes of the foredune and backing dunes.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1566-1575
    Number of pages10
    JournalGeomorphology
    Volume38
    Issue number13
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013

    Keywords

    • Aeolian
    • Foredune evolution
    • Foredune morphodynamics
    • Sediment transport
    • Wind flow

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