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Rapid dune changes associated with overwash processes on the deltaic coast of South Louisiana

Marine Geology
DOI: 10.1016/0025-3227(88)90020-5
  • Earth Science


Abstract The Caminada-Moreau barrier headland of South Louisiana is a low-profile beach and dune coastline that is transgressing rapidly over the surfaces of the abandoned Lafourche delta complex. With the passage of cold fronts (10–30 times per year) and hurricanes (once every 4 yrs), overwash events occur year round with varying degrees of frequency, intensity and geomorphological modification. This coastline consists of washover and dune surfaces that respond rapidly to overwash impact. The fine sand stored in washover deposits is easily reworked by aeolian processes into a variety of dune forms in the shore-zone that are vegetated rapidly. Geomorphological changes vary according to the position, ground elevation, and surface stability of the dunes. Independent factors are overwash surge elevations, beach gradient and the presence of pre-existing landforms. For ten years detailed surveys supplemented by aerial photographs and videotape surveys have recorded these changes. The analysis of these information sources provides insight into both the general evolution of this distinctive coastline and also the geomorphological interaction of dunes, beaches and washover deposits in different physiographic settings.

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