Gravel Spit Stabilized by Unusual(?) High-Energy Wave Climate in Bay Side, Tierra Del Fuego

by Gustavo G. Bujalesky, CADIC-CONICET, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina,
Gustavo González-Bonorino, CADIC-CONICET, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Sediments


A 17 km-long sand and gravel spit grew from the Atlantic coast of Tierra del Fuego in the late Holocene, semi-enclosing a large and deep embayment. Strong westerly winds generate high-energy waves within the bay, competent to transport abundant gravel. The spit is transgressing into the bay at a rate of over 1 m/yr. Nourishment of the bay beach to compensate for the retreat of the Atlantic shoreline is accomplished mainly by longshore transport of sediment around the spit terminus, instead of by overwashing. This is a consequence of the wave climate in the bay. Were it not for the peculiar hydraulic setting the spit presumably would have breached.

Subject Headings: Wave climates | Gravels | Bays | Beaches | Littoral drift | Sediment transport | Beach protection and nourishment | Sand (hydraulic)

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