Coastal Management on the Fence: Evaluating the Geomorphic Impact of Sand Fences

Authors: Michelle E Harris*, University of South Carolina, Jean T Ellis, University of South Carolina, Jacquelyn B Ferguson, University of South Carolina, Peter A Tereszkiewicz, University of South Carolina
Topics: Geomorphology, Coastal and Marine, Environment
Keywords: Coastal geomorphology, stabilization, coastal management, hurricane impacts
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Stones Throw 1 - Granite, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Erosion is present in over 90% of the world’s coastlines and poses a threat to infrastructure and natural systems. While the coastal zone is a morphologically dynamic environment, a range of engineering practices have evolved to stabilize it. Because the natural dune system serves as the first line of defense against storm activity and rising sea levels, it is often incorporated into restorative engineering practices. The use of sand fences to induce incipient dune formation and stabilization present an economical option that can be installed by managers or homeowners. While this option has been recommended for short-term dune growth, scant research has considered the relationship between fence installation and dune morphology. This study evaluates the geomorphic implications of sand fences resulting from the impact of high energy events, specifically Hurricanes Florence and Michael, that impacted South Carolina in 2018. A combination of field methods were applied to calculate dune volume of two sites along a mechanical dune. Measurements compared a site with eleven sand fences and an unmodified control site. Calculations indicated that dune volume decreased after Florence and for Michael for the fenced site, compared to the control site. There was differential morphologic change post-storm observed between the control and fenced sites. The results from this study will benefit coastal managers and researchers.

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