Geomorphologic response following four hurricanes on Southeast Florida beaches between 2016-2018.

Authors: Julie Cisneros*, Florida Atlantic University, Tiffany Roberts Briggs, Florida Atlantic University
Topics: Coastal and Marine, Geomorphology
Keywords: geomorphology, hurricane, erosion, accretion, beach change, beach profile, sediment transport, Florida
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

Coastal environments provide habitat, recreation, and protection from storms and coastal flooding; therefore, it is important to understand how geomorphologic changes alter these functions of the beach environment. Erosion, the removal of sediment from a beach environment is a globally ubiquitous problem with over 70% of beaches worldwide experiencing erosion. Palm Beach County, Florida has 45-miles of coastline; of which over 33 miles are considered critically eroded. Geomorphic changes can diminish or enhance beach functions. Typically, storms further away generate swells, however, onshore winds or local conditions can still be erosive. Between 2016 and 2018 Hurricane Matthew (2016) and Hurricane Irma (2017) came into close proximity of Southeastern Florida’s coastline, altering the beach morphology in these regions. Despite their distance from shore, two additional storms, Nicole (2016) and Florence (2018), influenced conditions that lead to significant beach profile change. The study sites for this area include Deerfield Beach, Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, and Jupiter. Profiles were surveyed at varying temporal intervals over the three years, ranging from bimonthly to quarterly depending on location and conducted pre-storm and post-storm. In total over 700 profiles [Deerfield Beach (104), Boca Raton (411), Boynton Beach (63), Delray (112), and Jupiter (39)] were analyzed over three years to evaluate the impact and recovery following high-energy events. The objectives of this study were to 1) identify the unique geomorphologic characteristics of each site, including the overall beach profile, slope, and unique sediment characteristics and 2) to evaluate the effects of significant storm events.

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