Testing model parameters for wave‐induced dune erosion using observations from Hurricane Sandy

Geophysical Research Letters
By: , and 



Models of dune erosion depend on a set of assumptions that dictate the predicted evolution of dunes throughout the duration of a storm. Lidar observations made before and after Hurricane Sandy at over 800 profiles with diverse dune elevations, widths, and volumes are used to quantify specific dune erosion model parameters including the dune face slope, which controls dune avalanching, and the trajectory of the dune toe, which controls dune migration. Wave‐impact models of dune erosion assume a vertical dune face and erosion of the dune toe along the foreshore beach slope. Observations presented here show that these assumptions are not always valid and require additional testing if these models are to be used to predict coastal vulnerability for decision‐making purposes. Observed dune face slopes steepened by 43% yet did not become vertical faces, and only 50% of the dunes evolved along a trajectory similar to the foreshore beach slope. Observations also indicate that dune crests were lowered during dune erosion. Moreover, analysis showed a correspondence between dune lowering and narrower beaches, smaller dune volumes, and/or longer wave impact.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Testing model parameters for wave‐induced dune erosion using observations from Hurricane Sandy
Series title Geophysical Research Letters
DOI 10.1002/2016GL071991
Volume 44
Issue 2
Year Published 2017
Language English
Publisher American Geophysical Union
Contributing office(s) St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center
Description 9 p.
First page 937
Last page 945
Country United States
State Maryland, New Jersey, New York
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