Characterization of Coastal Drift-Cell Sediment Processes Effecting the Restoration of the Southern Lake Michigan Shoreline

Abstract

Hard structures along the southern shore of Lake Michigan restrict natural longshore sediment transport, destabilizing the shoreline, and dissecting the coast into localized shoreline reaches. A geometric design was used to sample (n = 590 nodes) at nine shoreline reaches near the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore to characterize existing sediment in the offshore and onshore zones. Cluster Analysis grouped shoreline sites into two clusters. Factor Analysis showed that 35 % of the sand fractionation’s cumulative variance across all sites was explained by an increased loading on medium sand (0.250 mm) with a corresponding decrease loading on small pebbles (4.750 mm), and an additional 30 % of the cumulative variance was explained by a negative loading on very fine sand (0.075 mm). Individual clusters showed that 43 % of the cumulative variance within cluster one could be explained by increased loadings on fine and medium sand (0.149–0.250 mm) with a corresponding negative loading on small pebbles (4.75 mm). An additional 22 % of the cumulative variance was explained by the positive loading on coarse sand (0.850 mm). Cluster two was explained by a single factor (62 % cumulative variance) highlighting an increased loading on small pebbles and coarse sand, and decreased loadings on medium to very fine sand. Principal component analysis showed that sediment characterization of the swash zone provided the best explanation of between site variance.

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Acknowledgments

This report was prepared with funding from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, Environmental Protection Agency Project Number 94, under Task Agreement J6300100405 of the Great Lakes-Northern Forest Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit under Cooperative Agreement H6000082000 between the NPS and the University of Minnesota. Special thanks to Brenda Waters and Robert Daum, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, for project management and professional services support. Field assistance was provided by Cameron Simon; Joshua Dickey, Marchan Richmond, Nina Cameron, Lanette Sweany, Kristin Totten and other Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore staff; and Elizabeth McCloskey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Sediment grain analysis was completed by Sarah Weaver and Marchan Richmond, Indiana University. Figures were prepared by Jana Cram, Charles Morris, Thomas P. Simon, and Erin Argyilan and assistance with tables was provided by Alex Jackson, Nicholas Cooper, and Blair McCall, Indiana University. This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors. For this type of study formal consent is not required.

Funding

This report was prepared with funding from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, Environmental Protection Agency Project Number 94, under Task Agreement J6300100405 of the Great Lakes-Northern Forest Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit under Cooperative Agreement H6000082000 between the National Park Service and the University of Minnesota.

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Correspondence to Charles C. Morris.

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Thomas P. Simon: Deceased

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Simon, T.P., Morris, C.C. & Argyilan, E.P. Characterization of Coastal Drift-Cell Sediment Processes Effecting the Restoration of the Southern Lake Michigan Shoreline. Environmental Management 58, 1059–1073 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00267-016-0750-y

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Keywords

  • Shoreline environmental impact
  • Sediment particle analysis
  • Littoral drift models