BAKKER,M.A.J.; VANHETEREN, S.; VONHÖGEN, L.M.; VAN DER SPEK, A.J.F., and VAN DER VALK, L., 2012. Recent coastal dune development: effects of sand nourishments.
Much of the Dutch coast has been subject to structural erosion. From 1990 onward, sand nourishments have been used under a government policy of dynamic preservation. Annual monitoring and field inspections show that the structural erosion has decreased or even turned into coastal progradation after 1990. The monitoring data concern only morphodynamics and thus supply limited information on system-related geological processes driving the observed changes. Recently acquired ground-penetrating radar (GPR) data help establish the origin of sedimentary elements within the beach-foredune area, determine their decadal-scale preservation potential under the present nourishment policy, and demonstrate temporal and spatial accretion/erosion variability along nourished coasts. GPR images from a nonnourished retrograding barrier section show historical storm surge deposits within the eroding foredune and accumulations of natural eolian sediment farther landward. GPR images from a heavily nourished, prograding site show that the accreted foredune and beach consist of nourishment embankments (20%), wind-blown units derived from nourished sand (70%), and progradational beach deposits (10%). The net volume of accretion at this site is approximately 200 m3/m. Remarkably, almost all sand nourished before 2000 has been washed away, except for embankments constructed in 1990. Analysis of meteorological data suggests that 1999 storm surges are responsible for this erosion. The relative longevity of post-2000 nourishments can be attributed to a combination of shoreface nourishment and favorable meteorological conditions. During a storm surge in 2007, water-lain embankments proved to be more resistant against wave erosion than nourished sand redistributed by wind, indicating the importance of grain size, roundness and packing in the durability of nourishments.