Spatial variability in washover deposits : Hurricane Ike and the Texas coast

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Aylward, Daniel Stephen

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Washover sand deposits are common depositional features caused by large storms that affect coastal areas. Hurricane Ike was a powerful storm that hit the gulf coast in September of 2008, the track of the eye crossing Bolivar Peninsula in Texas. The attempt was made to exhaustively identify and map washover deposits caused by Hurricane Ike along the Texas coast to the southwest of landfall. Several transitions in the nature of the deposits are identified. The plan view distribution, the volume change, and the relationship with the antecedent topography all present changes that generally mirrors the alongshore decay of Hurricane Ike’s energy, represented by the storm surge and waves. These are put in context using the ratio, called here r, that is the maximum surge height in any given location at the beach divided by the height of the beach berm at the same location. In places where the storm surge was not high enough to overtop the beach berm, waves are assumed to have eroded the beach to the point that it allowed overwash to occur, and quantifying this contribution is a fertile avenue for future research.


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