LOW-PROFILE BARRIER ISLAND OVERWASH AND BREACHING IN THE GULF OF MEXICO

Shea Penland, John R. Suter

Abstract


An analysis of 17 tropical cyclone impacts along barrier islands in the Gulf of Mexico has led to the following conclusions: 1) tropical cyclones are the primary mechanism of barrier island overwash and breaching, 2) landward-directed and seaward-directed overwash flow can breach barrier islands, 3) storm track orientation to the shoreline controls the direction of barrier island breaching, 4) shore-normal and right-oblique hurricane impacts breach barrier islands by landward-directed overwash flow, and 5) left-oblique hurricane impacts breach barrier islands by seaward-directed overwash flow.

Keywords


barrier island; low profile island; island overwash; island breaching; Gulf of Mexico

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