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The influence of nearshore sand bank dynamics on shoreline evolution in a macrotidal coastal environment, Calais, northern France
Hequette, A.; Aernouts, D. (2010). The influence of nearshore sand bank dynamics on shoreline evolution in a macrotidal coastal environment, Calais, northern France. Cont. Shelf Res. 30(12): 1349-1361
In: Continental Shelf Research. Pergamon Press: Oxford; New York. ISSN 0278-4343, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Hequette, A.
  • Aernouts, D.

Abstract
    Analyses of shoreline and bathymetry change near Calais, northern coast of France, showed that shoreline evolution during the 20th century was strongly related with shoreface and nearshore bathymetry variations. Coastal erosion generally corresponds to areas of nearshore seabed lowering while shoreline progradation is essentially associated with areas of seafloor aggradation, notably east of Calais where an extensive sand flat experienced seaward shoreline displacement up to more than 300 m between 1949 and 2000. Mapping of bathymetry changes since 1911 revealed that significant variation in nearshore morphology was caused by the onshore and alongshore migration of a prominent tidal sand bank that eventually welded to the shore. Comparison of bathymetry data showed that the volume of the bank increased by about 10x107 m3 during the 20th century, indicating that the bank was acting as a sediment sink for some of the sand transiting alongshore in the coastal zone. Several lines of evidence show that the bank also represented a major sediment source for the prograding tidal flat, supplying significant amounts of sand to the accreting upper beach. Simulation of wave propagation using the SWAN wave model (Booij et al., 1999) suggests that the onshore movement of the sand bank resulted in a decrease of wave energy in the nearshore zone, leading to more dissipative conditions. Such conditions would have increased nearshore sediment supply, favoring aeolian dune development on the upper beach and shoreline progradation. Our results suggest that the onshore migration of nearshore sand banks may represent one of the most important, and possibly the primary mechanism responsible for supplying marine sand to beaches and coastal dunes in this macrotidal coastal environment.

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