Estuaries and Coasts

, Volume 39, Issue 4, pp 916–934 | Cite as

Evolution of Mid-Atlantic Coastal and Back-Barrier Estuary Environments in Response to a Hurricane: Implications for Barrier-Estuary Connectivity

  • Jennifer L. Miselis
  • Brian D. Andrews
  • Robert S. Nicholson
  • Zafer Defne
  • Neil K. Ganju
  • Anthony Navoy
Article

Abstract

Assessments of coupled barrier island-estuary storm response are rare. Hurricane Sandy made landfall during an investigation in Barnegat Bay-Little Egg Harbor estuary that included water quality monitoring, geomorphologic characterization, and numerical modeling; this provided an opportunity to characterize the storm response of the barrier island-estuary system. Barrier island morphologic response was characterized by significant changes in shoreline position, dune elevation, and beach volume; morphologic changes within the estuary were less dramatic with a net gain of only 200,000 m3 of sediment. When observed, estuarine deposition was adjacent to the back-barrier shoreline or collocated with maximum estuary depths. Estuarine sedimentologic changes correlated well with bed shear stresses derived from numerically simulated storm conditions, suggesting that change is linked to winnowing from elevated storm-related wave-current interactions rather than deposition. Rapid storm-related changes in estuarine water level, turbidity, and salinity were coincident with minima in island and estuarine widths, which may have influenced the location of two barrier island breaches. Barrier-estuary connectivity, or the transport of sediment from barrier island to estuary, was influenced by barrier island land use and width. Coupled assessments like this one provide critical information about storm-related coastal and estuarine sediment transport that may not be evident from investigations that consider only one component of the coastal system.

Keywords

Barnegat Bay Hurricane Sandy Coastal change Water quality Geomorphology Sediments Numerical modeling 

References

  1. Andrews, B.D., Defne, Z., Miselis, J.L., Ganju, N.K. 2015. Continuous terrain model for water circulation studies, Barnegat Bay, New Jersey. U.S. Geological Survey Data Release. doi:10.5066/F7PK0D6B.
  2. Andrews, B.D., Miselis, J.L., Danforth, W.W., Irwin, B.J., Worley, C.R., Bergeron, E.M., Blackwood, D.S. 2015. Marine geophysical data collected in a shallow back-barrier estuary: Barnegat Bay, New Jersey. U.S. Geological Survey Data Series. 937, available at: doi:10.3133/ds937.
  3. Blake, E.S., Kimberlain, T.B., Berg, R.J., Cangialosi, J.P., Beven II, J.L. 2013. Tropical cyclone report: Hurricane Sandy (AL182102) 22–29 October 2012. Report of the National Hurricane Center. 12 February 2013, 157 pp.Google Scholar
  4. Brasseur, L.H., Trembanis, A.C., Brubaker, J.M., Friedrichs, C.T., Nelson, T., Wright, L.D., Reay, W., Haas, L.W. 2005. Physical response of the York River estuary to Hurricane Isabel. In: Hurricane Isabel in perspective, ed. Sellner, K.G., 57–63. Edgewater, MD: CRC Publication 05–160, Chesapeake Bay Research Consortium.Google Scholar
  5. Carruthers, E.A., D.P. Lane, R.L. Evans, J.P. Donnelly, and A.D. Ashton. 2013. Quantifying overwash flux in barrier systems: an example from Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, USA. Marine Geology 343: 15–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Church, J.A., and N.J. White. 2011. Sea-level rise from the late 19th to early 21st century. Surveys in Geophysics 32: 585–602.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Collias, E.E., M.R. Rona, D.A. McManus, and J.S. Creager. 1963. Machine processing of geological data. University of Washington Technical Report 87: 119.Google Scholar
  8. Davis, Jr., R.A., S.C. Knowles, and M.J. Bland. 1989. Role of hurricanes in the Holocene stratigraphy of estuaries: examples from the Gulf Coast of Florida. Journal of Sedimentary Petrology 59(6): 1052–1061.Google Scholar
  9. Defne, Z., and N.K. Ganju. 2014. Quantifying the residence time and flushing characteristics of a shallow, back-barrier estuary: application of hydrodynamic and particle tracking models. Estuaries and Coasts 38(5): 1719–1734.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Dillon, W.P. 1970. Submergence effects on a Rhode Island barrier and lagoon inferences on migration of barriers. Journal of Geology 78: 94–106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dolan, R., and P. Godfrey. 1973. Effects of Hurricane Ginger on the barrier islands of North Carolina. Geological Society of America Bulletin 84: 1329–1334.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Donnelly, C., N. Kraus, and M. Larson. 2006. State of knowledge on measurement and modeling of coastal overwash. Journal of Coastal Research 22(4): 965–991.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Edmiston, H.L., S.A. Fahrny, M.S. Lamb, L.K. Levi, J.M. Wanat, J.S. Avant, K. Wren, and N.C. Selly. 2008. Tropical storm and hurricane impacts on a Gulf Coast estuary: Apalachicola Bay, Florida. Journal of Coastal Research S.I. 55: 38–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Fisher, J.J., and E.J. Simpson. 1979. Washover and tidal sedimentation rates as environmental factors in development of a transgressive barrier shoreline. In Barrier islands from the Gulf of St. Lawrence to the Gulf of Mexico, ed. S.P. Leatherman, 127–148. New York, NY: Academic Press, Inc.Google Scholar
  15. FitzGerald, D.M., S. Penland, and D. Nummedal. 1984. Control of barrier island shape by inlet sediment bypassing: East Frisian Islands, West Germany. Marine Geology 60(1–4): 355–376.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Folk, R.L. 1974. Petrology of sedimentary rocks. Austin: Hemphill. 182pp.Google Scholar
  17. Godfrey, P.J., Godfrey, M.J. 1973. Comparison of geologic and geomorphic interactions between altered and unaltered barrier island systems in North Carolina. In: Coastal geomorphology, ed. Coates, D.S., 239–258. SUNY-Binghamton, Publications in Geomorphology.Google Scholar
  18. Gotvald, A.J., Oberg, K.A. 2009. Acoustic Doppler current profiler applications used in rivers and estuaries by the U.S. Geological Survey: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2008–3096.Google Scholar
  19. Gregory, J.M., N.J. White, J.A. Church, M.F.P. Bierkens, J.E. Box, M.R. van den Broeke, J.G. Cogley, X. Fettweis, E. Hanna, P. Huybrechts, L.F. Konikow, P.W. Leclercq, B. Marzeion, J. Oerlemans, M.E. Tamisiea, Y. Wada, L.M. Wake, and R.S.W. van de Wal. 2013. Twentieth-century global-mean sea-level rise: is the whole greater than the sum of the parts? Journal of Climate 26: 4476–4499.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hall, T.M., and A.H. Sobel. 2013. On the impact angle of Hurricane Sandy’s New Jersey landfall. Geophysical Research Letters 40: 2312–2315. doi:10.1002/grl.50395.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hawkes, A.D., and B.P. Horton. 2012. Sedimentary record of storm deposits from Hurricane Ike, Galveston and San Luis Islands, Texas. Geomorphology 171–172: 180–189. doi:10.1016/j.geomorph.2012.05.017.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hoppe, H.L. 2007. New Jersey tide telemetry system: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2007–3064.Google Scholar
  23. Houser, C., Hamilton, S., Oravetz, J., Meyer-Arendt, K. 2007. EOF analysis of morphological change during Hurricane Ivan, Coastal Sediments 2007.Google Scholar
  24. Houser, C., C. Hapke, and S. Hamilton. 2008. Controls on coastal dune morphology, shoreline erosion and barrier island response to extreme storms. Geomorphology 100: 223–240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Isphording, W.C., D. Imsand, and G.C. Flowers. 1987. Storm-related rejuvenation of a northern Gulf of Mexico Estuary. Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies Transactions 37: 357–370.Google Scholar
  26. Israel, A.M., and F.G. Ethridge. 1987. A sedimentologic description of a microtidal, flood-tidal delta, San Luis Pass, Texas. Journal of Sedimentary Petrology 57(2): 288–300.Google Scholar
  27. Kennish, M.J. 2001. Physical description of the Barnegat Bay-Little Egg Harbor estuarine system. Journal of Coastal Research S.I. 32: 13–27.Google Scholar
  28. Knutson, T.R., J.L. McBride, J. Chan, K. Emanuel, G. Holland, C. Landsea, I. Held, J.P. Kossin, A.K. Srivastava, and M. Sugi. 2010. Tropical cyclones and climate change. Nature Geoscience 3: 157–163.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Leatherman, S.P. 1979. Migration of Assateague Island, Maryland, by inlet and overwash processes. Geology 7(2): 104–107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Lentz, E.E., C.J. Hapke, H.F. Stockdon, and R.E. Hehre. 2013. Improving understanding of near-term barrier island evolution through multi-decadal assessment of morphologic change. Marine Geology 337: 125–139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Li, M., L. Zhong, W.C. Boicourt, S. Zhang, and D.-L. Zhang. 2007. Hurricane-induced destratification and restratification in a partially-mixed estuary. Journal of Marine Research 65: 169–192.Google Scholar
  32. Lorenzo-Trueba, J., and A.D. Ashton. 2014. Rollover, drowning, and discontinuous retreat: distinct modes of barrier response to sea-level rise arising from a simple morphodynamic model. Journal of Geophysical Research-Earth Surface 119: 779–801. doi:10.1002/2013JF002941.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Madsen, O.S. 1994, Spectral wave-current bottom boundary layer flows. Paper presented at 24th International Conference. Kobe, Japan: Coastal Eng. Res. Counc.Google Scholar
  34. Mallin, M.A., and C.A. Corbett. 2006. How hurricane attributes determine the extent of environmental effects: multiple hurricanes and different coastal systems. Estuaries and Coasts 29(6A): 1046–1061.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Mallin, M.A., M.H. Posey, G.C. Shank, M.R. McIver, S.H. Ensign, and T.D. Alphin. 1999. Hurricane effects on water quality and benthos in the Cape Fear watershed: natural and anthropogenic impacts. Ecological Applications 9(1): 350–362.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. McBride, R.A., M.R. Byrnes, and M.W. Hiland. 1995. Geomorphic response-type model for barrier coastlines: a regional perspective. Marine Geology 126(1–4): 143–159.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. McBride, R.A., Anderson, J.B., Buynevich, I.V., et al. 2013. Morphodynamics of barrier systems: a synthesis. In: Treatise on geomorphology, eds. Shroder, J., Sherman, D.J. Diego, CA: Academic Press, San vol. 10, Coastal and Submarine Geomorphology, 166–244.Google Scholar
  38. Moore, L.J., List, J.H., Williams, S.J., Stolper, D. 2010. Complexities in barrier island response to sea-level rise: insights from numerical model experiments, North Carolina outer banks. Journal of Geophysical Research 115:F03004. doi: 10.1029/2009JF001299.
  39. Morton, R.A. 1976. Effects of Hurricane Eloise on beach and coastal structures, Florida Panhandle. Geology 4: 277–280.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Morton, R.A. 2002. Factors controlling storm impacts on coastal barriers and beaches—a preliminary basis for near real-time forecasting. Journal of Coastal Research 18: 486–501.Google Scholar
  41. Moser, F.C. 1997. Sources and sinks of nitrogen and trace metals and benthic macrofauna assemblages in Barnegat Bay, New Jersey. Ph.D. thesis, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey.Google Scholar
  42. Nicholson, R.S., and M.K. Watt. 1997. Groundwater flow in the unconfined aquifer of the northern Barnegat Bay watershed, New Jersey. In Proceedings of the Barnegat Bay ecosystem workshop, ed. G.E. Flimlin and M.J. Kennish, 31–47. Toms River: Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Ocean County.Google Scholar
  43. Nordstrom, K.F., R. Lampe, and L.M. Vandemark. 2000. Reestablishing naturally functioning dunes on developed coasts. Environmental Management 25(1): 37–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Peierls, B.L., R.R. Christian, and H.W. Paerl. 2003. Water quality and phytoplankton as indicators of hurricane impacts on a large estuarine ecosystem. Estuaries 26(5): 1329–1343.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Pierce, J.W. 1970. Tidal inlets and washover fans. Journal of Geology 8: 230–234.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Poppe, L.J., A.H. Eliason, and M.E. Hastings. 2004. A visual basic program to generate sediment grain-size statistics and to extrapolate particle distributions. Computers and Geosciences 30(7): 791–795.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Ruhl, C.A., Simpson, M.R. 2005. Computation of discharge using the index-velocity method in tidally affected areas: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2005–5004, 31 p.Google Scholar
  48. Sallenger, A.H. 2000. Storm impact scale for barrier islands. Journal of Coastal Research 16: 890–895.Google Scholar
  49. Seabergh, W.C., M.A. Cialone, and J.W. McCormick. 1998. Effects of inlet modifications at Barnegat Inlet. New Jersey: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Technical report.Google Scholar
  50. Shaw, J., Y. You, D. Mohrig, and G. Kocurek. 2015. Tracking hurricane-generated storm surge with washover fan stratigraphy. Geology 43(2): 127–130. doi:10.1130/G36460.1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Sherwood, C.R., J.W. Long, P.J. Dickhudt, P.S. Dalyander, D.M. Thompson, and N.G. Plant. 2014. Inundation of a barrier island (Chandeleurs Islands, Louisiana, USA) during a hurricane: observed water-level gradients and modeled seaward sand transport. Journal of Geophysical Research-Earth Surface 119: 1498–1515. doi:10.1002/2013JF003069.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Sopkin, K.L., Stockdon, H.F., Doran, K.S., Plant, N.G., Morgan, K.L.M., Guy, K.K., Smith, K.E.L. 2014. Hurricane Sandy: observations and analysis of coastal change. U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2014–1088:54. doi: 10.3133/ofr20141088.
  53. Stevens, P.W., D.A. Blewett, and J.P. Casey. 2006. Short-term effects of a low dissolved oxygen event on estuarine fish assemblages following the passage of Hurricane Charley. Estuaries and Coasts 29(6A): 997–1003.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Stockdon, H.F., A.H. Sallenger, R.A. Holman, and P.A. Howd. 2007. A simple model for the spatially-variable coastal response to hurricanes. Marine Geology 238: 1–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Stutz, M.L., and O.H. Pilkey. 2001. A review of global barrier island distribution. Journal of Coastal Research SI34: 15–22.Google Scholar
  56. Thieler, E.R., Young, R.S. 1991. Quantitative evaluation of coastal geomorphological changes in South Carolina after Hurricane Hug. Journal of Coastal Research, Sp. Iss. 8, Impacts of Hurricane Hugo: September 10–22 1989 187–200.Google Scholar
  57. Valentine, P., Blackwood, D., Parolski, K. 2000. Seabed observation and sampling system, U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet, FS-142-00, http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/fs142-00/fs142-00.pdf.
  58. Vermeer, M., and S. Rahmstorf. 2009. Global sea level linked to global temperature. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106(51): 21527–21532. doi:10.1073/pnas.0907765106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Wamsley, T.V., M.A. Cialone, J.M. Smith, J.H. Atkinson, and J.D. Rosati. 2010. The potential of wetlands for reducing storm surge. Ocean Engineering 37(1): 59–68. doi:10.1016/j.oceaneng.2009.07.018.
  60. Warner, J.C., B. Armstrong, R. He, and J.B. Zambon. 2010. Development of a coupled ocean–atmosphere–wave–sediment transport (COAWST) modeling system. Ocean Modeling 35(3): 230–244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Williams, C.J., J.N. Boyer, and F.J. Jochem. 2008. Indirect hurricane effects on resource availability and microbial communities in a subtropical wetland-estuary transition zone. Estuaries and Coasts 31: 204–214.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Wilson, M., S.D. Meyers, and M.E. Luther. 2006. Changes in the circulation of Tampa Bay due to Hurricane Frances as recorded by ADCP measurements and reproduced with a numerical ocean model. Estuaries and Coasts 29(6A): 914–918.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Wolinsky, M.A., Murray, A.B. 2009. A unifying framework for shoreline migration: 2. Application to wave-dominated coasts. Journal of Geophysical Research. 114:F01009. doi:10.1029/2007JF000856.
  64. Wright, C.W., Troche, R.J., Klipp, E.S., Kranenburg, C.J., Fredericks, X., Nagle, D.B. 2014a. EAARL-B submerged topography—Barnegat Bay, New Jersey, pre-Hurricane Sandy, 2012. U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 885. doi: 885.Google Scholar
  65. Wright, C.W., Troche, R.J., Kranenburg, C.J., Klipp, E.S., Fredericks, X., Nagle, D.B. 2014b. EAARL-B submerged topography—Barnegat Bay, New Jersey, post-Hurricane Sandy, 2012–2013. U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 887. doi: 887.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation (outside the USA) 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer L. Miselis
    • 1
  • Brian D. Andrews
    • 2
  • Robert S. Nicholson
    • 3
  • Zafer Defne
    • 2
  • Neil K. Ganju
    • 2
  • Anthony Navoy
    • 3
  1. 1.St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science CenterUS Geological SurveySt. PetersburgUSA
  2. 2.Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science CenterUS Geological SurveyWoods HoleUSA
  3. 3.New Jersey Water Science CenterUS Geological SurveyLawrencevilleUSA

Personalised recommendations