Tiffany Roberts Briggs, Nicholas Brown, and Michael S. Priddy, 2021. “Subaerial beach morphology change from multiple storms during the 2020 hurricane season”, Shore & Beach, 89(2), 65-74.
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Subaerial beach morphology change from multiple storms during the 2020 hurricane season
Tiffany Roberts Briggs, Ph.D.(1)* Nicholas Brown(1) and Michael S. Priddy(1)
1) Dept. of Geosciences, Florida Atlantic University, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton, FL 33431
*Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Frequent or consecutive storms impacting coastal areas can result in unexpected or variable impacts. This study evaluates spatiotemporal variability and cumulative impacts on the subaerial beach from four major tropical storms of varying intensity and proximity impacting the study area of Palm Beach County, Florida, during the 2020 Atlantic Basin Hurricane season. Impacts from Hurricanes Isaias, Laura, Sally, and Teddy were measured using Real-Time Kinematic Global Positioning System (RTK GPS) at 14 transects throughout the northern and southern portion of the county. Alongshore morphologic variability resulted from each storm, with some expected patterns of erosion and accretion with a few unexpected impacts. The first three storms caused swash or collision regime impacts on the Sallenger scale. Hurricane Teddy was the fourth storm to impact the study area, causing overwash at numerous locations. Whereas the first two storms of the season caused mostly erosion of the subaerial beach, the southeasterly approach of Hurricane Sally reversed the cumulative volume loss trend in the northern portion of the study area with accretion. Hurricane Teddy was the most distant storm but occurred at the highest tide and produced the largest waves and highest winds. The most variable patterns in erosion and accretion resulted from Hurricane Teddy, which also dominated the overall (or cumulative) volume and contour change. Further study is recommended for a multi-storm season that includes the subaqueous portion of the beach profile to elucidate trends of cross-shore and alongshore drivers of storm-induced morphology change.