Coastline orientation, aeolian sediment transport and foredune and dunefield dynamics of Moçambique Beach, Southern Brazil

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    This paper examines the role of coastline orientation on foredune and dunefield development at Moçambique Beach, Southern Brazil. The beach displays significant alongshore variations in exposure to the prevailing winds and waves, grain size, beach/surfzone morphodynamic type, foredune volume, and type and dimensions of the Holocene dune systems. Two wind analyses and calculation of aeolian drift potentials were carried out, one based on 1. year of wind record and another based on a record of 34. years. Monthly topographic surveys of beach and foredunes on 5 profiles along Moçambique beach were conducted over one year to obtain data on beach mobility and width, aeolian sediment transport and foredune development. Southerly winds dominate, and aeolian sediment supply is minimal in the south, moderate in the central portion and high in the northern portion of the embayment. The relationship between actual sediment supply, foredune building and potential sediment supply is relatively poor over one year due to factors such as beach type and mobility, beach moisture levels, rainfall, storm surge and wave scarping. The intermediate term (34. year) record indicates a strong relationship between foredune size and volume, winds and shoreline orientation: foredune volume is minimum in the southern part of the beach and greatest in the northern part of the beach. The Holocene barrier and dunefield development also reflects the long term control of shoreline orientation and increasing longshore gradient in exposure to southerly winds: for the last 6000-7000. years a small foredune developed in the southern portion, parabolics and small transgressive dunes in the central portion, and a large-scale transgressive dunefield in the northern portion.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)258-278
    Number of pages21
    Issue number3-4
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010


    • Aeolian sediment transport
    • Barrier
    • Beach dynamics
    • Coastline orientation
    • Dunefield evolution
    • Foredunes


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