Christine Gralher, Nobuhisa Kobayashi, Kideok Do


Sand dunes play a significant role during coastal storms by absorbing the impacts of storm surge and high waves. Therefore, rapid profile changes and destruction of sand dunes, which may be caused by wave-induced overwash, lead to an increased flood risk landward of dunes. The effects of vegetation on dune erosion and overwash during storm events, however, have never been studied. This study is based on a laboratory experiment investigating the effects of woody plants on dune erosion and overwash of high and low dunes. During the five tests conducted foredune scarping was observed for the three high dune tests but did not occur for the two low dune tests. A narrow vegetation placed on the steep backdune of the high dune did not reduce wave overtopping and sand overwash. However, the wide vegetation figuration, which covered the backdune and foredune, reduced foredune scarping, prevented wave overtopping initially and reduced sand overwash after the initiation of wave overtopping for the high
dune. It also slowed down the erosion process of the low dune significantly by retarding wave uprush and reducing wave overtopping and overwash.


vegetation; wave overtopping; dune; erosion; overwash; sediment transport

Full Text:



Crowell, M., Coulton, K., Johnson, C., Westcott, J., Bellomo, D., Edelman, S., and E. Hirsch. 2010. An estimate of the U.S. population living in 100-year coastal flood hazard areas, Journal of Coastal Research, 26(2), 201-211.http://dx.doi.org/10.2112/JCOASTRES-D-09-00076.1

Figlus, J., Kobayashi, N., Gralher, C., and V. Iranzo. 2011. Wave overtopping and overwash of dunes, Journal of Waterway, Port, Coastal, and Ocean Engineering, 137(1), 26-33.http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)WW.1943-5460.0000060

Gutierrez, B.T., Williams, S.J., and E.R. Thieler. 2007. Potential for shoreline changes due to sea-level rise along the U.S. Mid-Atlantic Region, Open-File Report 2007-1278, U.S. Geological Survey.

United Nations Atlas of the Oceans. 2012. Human Settlements on the Coast. Available from http://www.oceansatlas.org/id/1877 (Accessed May 2012).

DOI: https://doi.org/10.9753/icce.v33.sediment.34