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FYRES: Research

FYRES student measures erosion pin on foredune

Lake Michigan Coastal Dune Interaction with Storms

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

Project Description (from report abstract): Storms contribute to the shape of a beach-dune system but few studies describe specific effects of storms on a foredune environment. We studied changes that autumn storms made to a foredune located in P.J. Hoffmaster State Park on the east coast of Lake Michigan. We used a number of methods including on-site anemometers and a wind vane, erosion pins, GPS, photos, observations, and storm data from the National Weather Service.  Two storms were observed during our study period with a week of lower wind speeds between them. The first storm, remnants of Hurricane Sandy, lasted five days with very strong winds and little precipitation. The second storm had more precipitation, was shorter in duration, and had higher maximum wind speeds. During the storms, high waves reduced the wind’s access to loose sand on the beach. Nevertheless, there were large amounts of sand transport from the backbeach to the foredune with deposition occurring on the windward slope of the dune. Both storms were responsible for a significant amount of dune change, whereas very little change took place in the week between the storms. Abstract (pdf)

Research Report: Brinks, Linden, Kathryn E. Gerber, Jen-Li Sin, Jacob T. Swineford and Alek K. Zapata (2013). “The Effects of Two Fall Storms on a Lake Michigan Foredune.” FYRES: Dunes Research Report #7. Grand Rapids (MI): Department of Geology, Geography and Environmental Studies, Calvin College. 17 p. Report (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)

Research Information

This project is one of six FYRES research projects in 2012-2013.

FYRES 2012-2013 produced 6 research projects, 6 presentations (5 papers and 1 poster) at the North-Central meeting of the Geological Society of America, and 5 research reports.