New Insights on Coastal Foredune Growth: The Relative Contributions of Marine and Aeolian Processes

Nicholas Cohn*, Peter Ruggiero, Sierd de Vries, George M. Kaminsky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)
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Coastal foredune growth is typically associated with aeolian sediment transport processes, while foredune erosion is associated with destructive marine processes. New data sets collected at a high energy, dissipative beach suggest that total water levels in the collision regime can cause dunes to accrete-requiring a paradigm shift away from considering collisional wave impacts as unconditionally erosional. From morphologic change data sets, it is estimated that marine processes explain between 9% and 38% of annual dune growth with aeolian processes accounting for the remaining 62% to 91%. The largest wind-driven dune growth occurs during the winter, in response to high wind velocities, but out of phase with summertime beach growth via intertidal sandbar welding. The lack of synchronization between maximum beach sediment supply and wind-driven dune growth indicates that aeolian transport at this site is primarily transport, rather than supply, limited, likely due to a lack of fetch limitations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4965-4973
Number of pages9
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Beach
  • Coastal dunes
  • Intertidal sandbar
  • Morphodynamics
  • Progradation
  • Total water levels

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