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    Impact of management regime and regime change on gravel barrier response to a major storm surge

    Pollard, J.A. and Christie, E.K. and Brooks, Susan and Spencer, T. (2021) Impact of management regime and regime change on gravel barrier response to a major storm surge. Journal of Marine Science and Engineering 9 (2), p. 147. ISSN 2077-1312.

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    Gravel barriers represent physiographic, hydrographic, sedimentary, and ecological boundaries between inshore and open marine offshore environments, where they provide numerous important functions. The morphosedimentary features of gravel barriers (e.g., steep, energy reflective form) have led to their characterization as effective coastal defense features during extreme hydrodynamic conditions. Consequently, gravel barriers have often been intensively managed to enhance coastal defense functions. The Blakeney Point Barrier System (BPBS), U.K., is one such example, which offers the opportunity to investigate the impact of alternative management regimes under extreme hydrodynamic conditions. The BPBS was actively re-profiled along its eastern section from the 1950s to the winter of 2005, whilst undergoing no active intervention along its western section. Combining an analysis of remotely sensed elevation datasets with numerical storm surge modeling, this paper finds that interventionist management introduces systemic differences in barrier morphological characteristics. Overly steepened barrier sections experience greater wave run-up extents during storm surge conditions, leading to more extreme morphological changes and landward barrier retreat. Furthermore, while high, steep barriers can be highly effective at preventing landward flooding, in cases where overwashing does occur, the resultant landward overtopping volume is typically higher than would be the case for a relatively lower crested barrier with a lower angled seaward slope. There is a growing preference within coastal risk management for less interventionist management regimes, incorporating natural processes. However, restoring natural processes does not immediately or inevitably result in a reduction in coastal risk. This paper contributes practical insights regarding the time taken for a previously managed barrier to relax to a more natural state, intermediary morphological states, and associated landward water flows during extreme events, all of which should be considered if gravel barriers are to be usefully integrated into broader risk management strategies.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2021 10:44
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 18:07


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