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Frequent non-storm washover of barrier islands, Pacific coast of Colombia

Journal of Coastal Research

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Abstract

Barrier islands of the Pacific coast of Colombia repeatedly experience severe washover even when breaking waves in the eastern Pacific are low and onshore winds are calm. On the barrier island of El Choncho, recent non-storm washover events have breached a new inlet, caused rapid beach retreat, destroyed a shoreline protection structure, and flooded a small village of indigenous people so frequently that it had to be relocated. Barrier washover may be augmented by lowered land elevations associated with earthquake-induced subsidence or long-term beach retreat, but temporally it is most closely associated with a 20 to 30 cm regional increase in sea level caused by El Nino. The contradiction of a tranquil tropical island scene simultaneously disturbed by hostile turbulent washover may be unique at present, but it exemplifies how coastal plains throughout the world would be affected if sea level were to rise rapidly as a result of global warming.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Frequent non-storm washover of barrier islands, Pacific coast of Colombia
Series title:
Journal of Coastal Research
Volume
16
Issue:
1
Year Published:
2000
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Journal of Coastal Research
First page:
82
Last page:
87
Number of Pages:
6