Barrier island vulnerability to breaching: a case study on Dauphin Island, Alabama

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Abstract

Breaching of barrier islands can adversely impact society by severing infrastructure, destroying private properties, and altering water quality in back bays and estuaries. This study provides a scheme that assesses the relative vulnerability of a barrier island to breach during storms. Dauphin Island, Alabama was selected for this study because it has a well documented history of island breaches and extensive geological and geomorphic data. To assess the vulnerability of the island, we defined several variables contributing to the risk of breaching: island geology, breaching history, and island topography and geomorphology. These variables were combined to form a breaching index (BI) value for cross island computational bins, each bin every 50 m in the alongshore direction. Results suggest the eastern section of Dauphin Island has the lowest risk of breaching with the remaining portion of the island having a moderate to high risk of breaching. Two reaches in the western section of the island were found to be particularly vulnerable due primarily to their minimal cross-sectional dimensions.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Title Barrier island vulnerability to breaching: a case study on Dauphin Island, Alabama
ISBN 0784409269; 9780784409268
DOI 10.1061/40926(239)157
Year Published 2007
Language English
Publisher American Society of Civil Engineers
Contributing office(s) Coastal and Marine Geology Program
Description 9 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Conference publication
Larger Work Title Coastal Sediments '07 - Proceedings of 6th International Symposium on Coastal Engineering and Science of Coastal Sediment Processes
First page 2002
Last page 2010
Conference Title 6th International Symposium on Coastal Engineering and Science of Coastal Sediment Processes
Conference Location New Orleans, LA
Country United States
State Alabama
Other Geospatial Dauphin Island