THE IMPACT OF BARRIER ISLAND DEGRADATION ON HURRICANE-INDUCED SEDIMENT TRANSPORT
AbstractHurricanes are recognized as a strong forcing in changing coastal morphology by redistributing sediments. Barrier islands protect estuaries from storm surge and severe waves and confine water and sediment discharge into estuaries during a hurricane event. In this study, we developed a three-dimensional, fully coupled storm surge, waves, and sediment transport model. The impacts of barrier islands degradation on hurricane hydrodynamics and sediment dynamics were evaluated by comparing a hypothetical model configuration for four major barrier islands in Terrebonne Bay and Barataria Bay against a baseline configuration. With the hypothetical deterioration of barrier islands, model results showed that the sediment transport from the shelf to the estuary increased in Terrebonne Bay but decreased in Barataria Bay. In the simulations, most of the deposition on coastal wetland still originated from the bay even when the barrier islands were degraded.
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