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A groundswell event on the coast of the British Virgin Islands: variability in morphological impact.

Cooper, Andrew, Jackson, Derek and Gore, Shannon (2013) A groundswell event on the coast of the British Virgin Islands: variability in morphological impact. Journal of Coastal Research, SI 65 . pp. 696-701. [Journal article]

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Extreme waves on Caribbean islands originate from hurricanes, tsunami and swell. The latter are most widespread and common but are the least studied. They are generated by slow-moving, low pressure systems in the western Atlantic from which swell propagates in all directions, some of it reaching the exposed shores of Caribbean Islands. Large swell waves with an approximate 1:20 year return interval reached 14-16 ft (>4.5 m) waves with a 17 second period during March 2008. Morphological impacts (coral reef damage, coral rubble deposition, beach erosion) were reported throughout the Eastern Caribbean from Guyana to Puerto Rico. In this paper we present observations of morphological impacts on sand, gravel and coral rubble beaches of the British Virgin Islands (BVI). The morphological response was highly variable according to coastal geologic setting, exposure to wave activity and nature of beach material. Exposed sand beaches with sandy shorefaces exhibited scarping, overwash and offshore sand transport, similar to that reported elsewhere for sand beaches. In some instances covering sand was stripped to expose underlying beachrock. Sand beaches with fronting reefs showed little change. Modification of coarse clastic beaches through erosion and deposition generally amounted to little more than surface modification of much larger hurricane and tsunami deposits.

Item Type:Journal article
Keywords:storm, tsunami, Caribbean beach, coral rubble, extreme event
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Life and Health Sciences > School of Geography and Environmental Sciences
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
Research Institutes and Groups:Environmental Sciences Research Institute > Coastal Systems
Environmental Sciences Research Institute
ID Code:25804
Deposited By: Professor Andrew Cooper
Deposited On:22 Apr 2013 11:14
Last Modified:17 Oct 2017 16:09

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