Aeolian sediment transport on a human-altered foredune

Karl F. Nordstrom, Nancy L. Jackson, Jean Marie Hartman, Mark Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Changes in wind speed and sediment transport are evaluated at a gap and adjacent crest of a 2 to 3 m high, 40 m wide foredune built by sand fences and vegetation plantings on a wide, nourished fine sand beach at Ocean City, New Jersey. Anemometer masts, cylindrical sand traps and erosion pins were placed on the beach and dune during two obliquely onshore wind events in February and March 2003. Results reveal that: (1) changes in the alongshore continuity of the beach and dune system can act as boundaries to aeolian transport when winds blow at an angle to the shoreline; (2) oblique winds blowing across poorly vegetated patches in the dune increase the potential for creating an irregular crest elevation; (3) transport rates and deflation rates can be greater within the foredune than on the beach, if the dune surface is poorly vegetated and the beach has not had time to dry following tidal inundation; (4) frozen ground does not prevent surface deflation; and (5) remnant sand fences and fresh storm wrack have great local but temporary effect on transport rates. Temporal and spatial differences due to sand fences and wrack, changes in sediment availability due to time-dependent differences in surface moisture and frozen ground, combined with complex topography and patchy vegetation make it difficult to specify cause-effect relationships. Effects of individual roughness elements on the beach and dune on wind flow and sediment transport can be quantified at specific locations at the event scale, but extrapolation of each event to longer temporal and spatial scales remains qualitative.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)102-115
Number of pages14
JournalEarth Surface Processes and Landforms
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


  • Aeolian transport
  • Dune vegetation
  • Sand fences
  • Sand traps
  • Wrack lines


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