Meso-scale measuring and modelling of aeolian sediment input to coastal foredunes

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Delgado-Fernandez, Irene
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University of Guelph

This thesis explores the nature of aeolian transport events and alternative approaches to model sediment input to foredunes by focusing on a time series recorded by a monitoring station specifically design to measure meso-scale processes within the dune-beach system at Greenwich Dunes, Prince Edward Island, Canada. Results of the analysis of nine months of data confirm that the fetch effect, beach width and angle of wind approach are key controls on aeolian sediment transport from the beach to coastal dunes, and thus information regarding these parameters needs to be included in a predictive model. A review of the fetch effect allows incorporation of available knowledge into the modelling, and information on the nature of transport events aids into the inclusion of nearshore processes, moisture, and essential variables of cold climates such as snow/ice cover. The simplified model is tested and verified through comparison with observed time series of sediment deposited into the dunes. Conceptual differences between the approach taken by this research and previous authors are discussed in light of the potential to improve predictions of sediment input by wind to the foredunes.

aeolian transport events, model, sediment input, foredune, monitoring station, meso-scale processes, dune-beach system, Greenwich Dunes, Prince Edward Island