Ebb-Tidal Deltas and Barrier Island Morphology

by William J. Reynolds, US Military Acad, West Point, NY, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Zone '85


Offshore depositional features such as ebb-tidal deltas may have significant and perhaps controlling influence on barrier island morphology. These features serve three primary functions. First, they protect the land to their lee from incoming wave action. Second, they may cause sufficient wave refraction to effect a divergence of incident wave direction downdrift of the delta. Finally, these large accumulations of sand act as sand reservoirs for the downdrift barrier island shore, serving as natural nourishment sources. Research performed at Marco Island, Florida, showed the ebb-tidal delta to have a dominant influence on the island's erosion and accretion trends along the entire shore.

Subject Headings: Islands | Barrier islands | Wave action | Coastal management | Beach accretion | Wave shoaling | Wave refraction | Florida | United States

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