Dynamic barrier islands

During large storms, barrier islands are temporarily underwater because of storm surge and high waves.  This is called overwash, and during overwash sand is moved from the beach and deposited in back-barrier environments.  The sandy deposit that forms as a result of overwash is called a washover.  Below is an animation that shows the evolution of a washover (Site 2) on Onslow Beach, NC during a 4-year period.  Some of the most dramatic morphologic changes occurred after Hurricane Sandy and during a persistent nor’easter in October, 2015.  We are still working with these data, so stay tuned.

About Antonio Rodriguez

Institute of Marine Sciences
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