Contrasting geomorphological storm response from two adjacent shorefaces

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Abstract

Shorefaces play a critical role in cross-shore sediment transport between the beach and inner shelf, particularly during storm conditions. A comparison and examination of storm-driven sedimentary changes on two adjacent shorefaces in Northern Ireland, located only 5 km apart, revealed significantly different geomorphological responses. The steeper shoreface at West Strand responded with extensive sediment deposition across almost the entire shoreface, in contrast with the more dissipative and quasi-linear shoreface at Portstewart, which mostly showed nearshore bar changes. Results from the two sites, which have similar wave/wind characteristics and seabed sediments, suggest that: (i) cross-shore morphology, (ii) immediately previous (antecedent) shoreface morphodynamic behaviour and (iii) the presence, or lack of, offshore sand appear to be the primary controls on storm-driven sedimentary changes attributed to the high-energy event. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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