Skip to main content

The response of barrier landscapes to storm events can vary substantially at a range of spatial scales, even within an individual barrier island. To characterize alongshore variations in morphological response to and recovery from storm events, we are comparing lidar data collected in the Virginia Coast Reserve both immediately following a severe storm (Hurricane Bonnie, 1998) and during subsequent calm-weather conditions (2005). We define alongshore “resilience,” or relative localized recovery, as the change in the probability of overwash between the post-storm conditions and the more recent calm-weather conditions, and we hypothesize that this resilience is likely related to local morphological characteristics. Using a cutting-edge application of wavelet coherence analysis, we are determining the alongshore positions and spatial scales at which changes in beach morphology covary with resilience, a technique that will ultimately allow us to infer which processes are most important to the post-storm recovery of barrier islands.

Comments are closed.