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1 November 2015 The Influence of a Seawall on Postnourishment Evolution in a Sea-Breeze-Dominated Microtidal Beach
Gabriela Medellín, Ismael Mariño-Tapia, Jorge Euán-Ávila
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Medellín, G.; Mariño-Tapia, I., and Euán-Ávila, J., 2015. The influence of a seawall on postnourishment evolution in a sea-breeze-dominated microtidal beach.

The postnourishment beach evolution is evaluated on a sea-breeze-dominated microtidal beach in Yucatan (Mexico). The study area has experienced severe beach erosion due to both alongshore sediment-transport gradients during calm conditions and offshore sediment transport during extreme wave events. Therefore, a shoreline restoration program, including beach nourishment and the removal of groynes, was carried out in 2002. Bimonthly subaerial/intertidal beach profiles measured during 7 years (2002–09), in front of a seawall and at an adjacent beach (nonwalled), are employed to analyze the beach nourishment evolution. Empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis of the shoreline time series is performed using the data extracted from the 50 field surveys. The temporal evolution of the EOF analysis shows the following: (1) an abrupt increase in beach width due to nourishment at the study site at the beginning of 2003, (2) followed by a sustained increase (from 2004 to 2007) owing to the sediment advection from a massive beach fill performed up-drift of the study area, and (3) a decrease in beach width from 2007 until the end of the study period. Moreover, the mean profile-volume change is estimated separately for walled and nonwalled beach sections. The nonwalled profiles results are consistent with the temporal evolution described by the EOF analysis. On the other hand, walled beach profiles show a net volume loss from 2002 to 2007, remaining stable during the following 3 years. Consistent with previous studies, seasonal variability of sand volume was found to be greater in front of the seawall with respect to the nonwalled section. Nevertheless, the erosional/despositional rates in the two sections show opposite trends during mean (sea-breeze) wave conditions, being more important in the subaerial beach profiles. The latter implies that swash-zone sediment transport represents an important contribution to the total sediment budget in the study area; hence, seawalls can significantly modify coastal dynamics in sea-breeze-dominated environments.

Gabriela Medellín, Ismael Mariño-Tapia, and Jorge Euán-Ávila "The Influence of a Seawall on Postnourishment Evolution in a Sea-Breeze-Dominated Microtidal Beach," Journal of Coastal Research 31(6), 1449-1458, (1 November 2015).
Received: 24 October 2013; Accepted: 3 June 2014; Published: 1 November 2015
beach nourishment
Beach profiles
EOF analysis
longshore transport
sea-breeze conditions
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