A synthesis of Alabama beach states and nourishment histories

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University of Alabama Libraries

Five reaches of Alabama beaches were geomorphologically classified using established techniques from the literature. Different methods of obtaining wave data for the purpose of beach classification were compared. Complete buoy data of wave heights and wave periods were available for only two of five sites, and these were used to test the validity of field and computer model data used in place of buoy data. A nourishment index was created and used to quantify the beach nourishment history of each site, and a relationship between this value and beach state was measured. The classification of beach states found Alabama beaches will most likely remain in the dissipative regime under current climate and tectonic conditions. Using only field and model data to determine beach state was found to produce results similar to buoy data in some instances, but these instances were not enough to indicate the methods used for this study can be used as a sole method of replacing buoy data. Using these selected methods of describing beach state and nourishment history found a strong but not statistically significant relationship between the two variables.

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Geomorphology, Geography