Dune Profiles Before and After Storm Events in Coastal Massachusetts

by Lisa J. Wolf, ENSR Consulting and Engineering, Acton, United States,
James D. Bowen, ENSR Consulting and Engineering, Acton, United States,
Kenneth A. Hickey, ENSR Consulting and Engineering, Acton, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Hydraulic Engineering


It is well known that short-term changes in dune profiles can have a major effect on the severity of storm damage to coastal areas. In light of this, the standardized methodology developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for prediction of coastal flooding now requires consideration of dune erosion during the 100-year storm before predicting flooding and wave runup impacts. Work performed for the FEMA in coastal Massachusetts presented a unique opportunity to compare predictions of erosion with field measurements. Surveyed transects were obtained at approximately forty locations on Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket Islands in May 1991. Transects were then re-surveyed in the Fall of 1992, after two storms severely eroded first the southern and then the eastern beaches of these islands. Comparisons between the measured and predicted dune erosion reveal that the simple methods used to predict short-term erosion fairly accurately represent eroded dune geometries and cross-sectional areas.

Subject Headings: Dunes | Ocean waves | Erosion | Storms | Floods | Federal government | Coastal management | Massachusetts | United States

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