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    Beach volume on an eroding sand-gravel coast determined using ground penetrating radar

    Dickson, M.E. and Bristow, Charlie S. and Hicks, D.M. and Jol, H.M. and Stapleton, J. and Todd, D. (2009) Beach volume on an eroding sand-gravel coast determined using ground penetrating radar. Journal of Coastal Research 25 (5), pp. 1149-1159. ISSN 0749-0208.

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    Mixed sand and gravel beaches form a wedge of protective sediment at the base of eroding cliffs. In profile these beaches are typically steep with a prominent storm berm. If the volume of beach sediment is insufficient, storms strip beach sediments seaward, exposing the cliff toe to wave attack. The beach volume is thus crucial to the protection of sea cliffs. In this article we describe a method of calculating alongshore variation in the volume of mixed sand and gravel beaches using ground penetrating radar (GPR). Eighteen sites were studied along 50 km of the east coast of South Island, New Zealand. The method was underpinned by an ability to map the boundary between beach sediments and underlying Pleistocene alluvial-fan sediments. This was achieved by studying the radar facies, particularly landward-dipping overwash deposits and seaward-dipping beach erosion surfaces. The method was ground-truthed in three ways: (1) a stream provided a clean section through one site that was imaged by radar; (2) a storm stripped beach sediment from three sites exposing the substrate, which was then surveyed and compared with radar profiles; (3) excavations in a previous study at nine sites were used to combine the stratigraphy with the radar images. GPR proved highly effective in this environment, revealing thin beaches in the south of the study area that thicken northward in the direction of alongshore sediment transport. Cliff height decreases northward such that there is a transition from beaches in front of cliffs, to beaches that overtop low cliffs, to barriers in front of a coastal lagoon.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Coastal erosion, gravel barrier, gravel beach, ground penetrating radar
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Natural Sciences
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2010 09:39
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 16:50


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