Date of Award

Fall 2019

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation



First Advisor

Jean T. Ellis


Nearshore bars naturally protect the coast against erosion by dissipating wave energy. They are significant reservoirs of sand, and thus, they may impact the response of beaches to different wave conditions. Nearshore bar position and morphologic variability also influences long- and short-term beach and dune stability. This study reveals how nearshore bars influence beach-dune dynamics using very high-resolution (VHR) imagery. A new low- cost identification approach for bar identification was applied by integrating VHR imagery. Future nearshore bar research will benefit from integrating the larger spatial scale provided by satellite sensors. A rule-based OBIA approach was successful in identifying and characterizing nearshore bars. This study also looked at the interactions of nearshore dynamics and the beach-dune system by investigating the coastal system holistically instead of each feature (dunes, beach, and bars) as separate entities. Knowing how the dunes, the beach and the bars dynamics are related and how each component affects the response of the other during high-energy wave event conditions will also significantly improve the way that we manage, protect, and develop our coastlines. Results showed that the morphology of the nearshore bars have a direct impact on how the dune-beach system respond to high-energy events.

Included in

Geography Commons