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FYRES: Research

FYRES student collecting data in the field

Lake Michigan Coastal Dune Interaction with Storms

Mentored by: Linden Brinks
Team: Kathryn E. Gerber, Jen-Li Sin, Jacob T. Swineford,  Alek K. Zapata

Report Abstract: Storms have long been recognized as having an effect on dune landscape evolution on Lake Michigan. It is surprising, then, that little data exists to study exactly how these storms affect dune ecosystems. Hence, an area between Dune 1 and Dune 2 in Hoffmaster State Park was studied during October and November of 2012 to investigate the effects of fall storms on specific coastal foredunes. We used an electronic total station, erosion pins, a time-lapse camera, anemometer data, and reference pins to map the site topography, measure sand movement and measure water level respectively. The results show that most of the effects on a foredune from a storm come from the abnormal wind speeds and the wave erosion on the recreational beach. Scarping, increased rates of erosion and deposition, and substantial wave run-up are more specific examples of how this occurred. Poster (pdf)

Conference Presentation: Brinks, Linden, Kathryn Gerber, Jen-Li Sin, Jacob Swineford, Alek Zapata (2013). "The effects of two fall storms on a Lake Michigan foredune." North-Central Section of the Geological Society of America (Kalamazoo, MI), 2-3 May 2013. Abstract (pdf)