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Monitoring and comparison to predictive models of the Perdido Key beach nourishment project, Florida, USA
Browder, A.E.; Dean, R.G. (2000). Monitoring and comparison to predictive models of the Perdido Key beach nourishment project, Florida, USA. Coast. Eng. 39(2-4): 173-191.
In: Coastal Engineering: An International Journal for Coastal, Harbour and Offshore Engineers. Elsevier: Amsterdam; Lausanne; New York; Oxford; Shannon; Tokyo. ISSN 0378-3839, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    Shorelines; Nourishment; Monitoring; Models; Erosion; Pensacola; Perdido Key

Authors  Top 
  • Browder, A.E.
  • Dean, R.G.

    This paper summarizes the results of over 8 years of data describing the performance of a large beach nourishment project on Perdido Key, immediately adjacent to Pensacola Pass in Escambia County, FL, USA. As a result of a major excavation of the entrance channel to Pensacola Bay, over 7 million m3 of beach-quality sand were placed along the easternmost 7.5 km of Perdido Key, adjoining the entrance channel at Pensacola Pass. The project included the placement of 4.1 million m3 of sand directly upon the shoreline in 1989–1990, followed by the placement of an additional 3 million m3 as an underwater berm just offshore of the beach nourishment project in water depths of roughly 6 m. Monitoring of the performance of the beach nourishment project and the offshore berm has been conducted since 1989, beginning with a pre-construction survey of the project area. Monitoring surveys have been conducted on an annual or biennial basis since that time, with the most recent survey occurring in July/August, 1998. Over 8 years of monitoring data indicate that the beach nourishment project has retained approximately 56% of the original volume placed within the 7.5-km project length. In addition, according to the latest monitoring survey, the dry beach width of the project, initially constructed as 135 m on average, is still 53 m wider than pre-project conditions. Approximately 41% of the originally placed dry planform area remains as of July 1998. The most recent monitoring surveys in 1995, 1997, and 1998 encompass the effects of two major storm systems, Hurricanes Erin (August 1995) and Opal (October 1995). Monitoring of the offshore berm area indicates only a slight landward migration of the berm, accompanied by a minor decrease in volume, over the entire monitoring period. The performance of both the beach nourishment project and the offshore berm appear to be significantly related to the two storm events, particularly Hurricane Opal, and the proximity of the project to the tidal entrance at Pensacola Pass. Comparison of the documented performance of the beach nourishment project to simple existing analytical models of beach-fill evolution have yielded encouraging results in terms of preliminary design aids for future beach nourishment projects in the vicinity of deep tidal entrances.

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