Aeolian sediment transport and landforms in managed coastal systems: A review

Nancy Jackson, Karl F. Nordstrom

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations

Abstract

Humans modify beaches and dunes and aeolian transport potential by building structures, walking or driving, extracting resources, accommodating recreation, increasing levels of protection, removing storm deposits, or restoring landforms and habitats. The effects of human adjustments are reviewed here in terms of cross-shore zones because humans tend to compartmentalize landforms and habitats through their actions and regulations. Common human modifications in the beach zone include nourishing beaches, constructing shore protection structures and raking to remove litter. Modifications affecting the dune zone include altering the location, size and stability of dunes using sand-trapping fences, vegetation plantings and bulldozers or replacing dunes with shore-parallel structures. Modifications affecting the landward zone include buildings, roads, and parking lots. Landform and habitat resilience requires levels of dynamism and geomorphic complexity not often found in managed systems. Preserving or enhancing dynamism and complexity requires emphasis on innovative designs rooted in geomorphological and aeolian research. Future studies are suggested for: (1) quantifying the effect of small and large scale beach nourishment designs and sediment characteristics on dune initiation, development, and evolution; (2) quantifying the extent to which size and spacing of human structures and landform alterations inhibit sediment transfers alongshore or onshore; (3) identifying the advantages or disadvantages of "niche" dunes formed by structures; (4) providing quantitative data on the effects of raking or driving on the beach; (5) identifying the role of aeolian landforms on private properties; and (6) identifying alternative ways of employing sand fences and vegetation plantings to increase topographic and habitat diversity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-196
Number of pages16
JournalAeolian Research
Volume3
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geology
  • Earth-Surface Processes

Keywords

  • Beach nourishment
  • Coastal management
  • Developed coasts
  • Dunes
  • Human impacts
  • Shore protection

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