Post-storm geomorphic recovery and resilience of a prograding coastal dune system

Joanna Bullard, David Ackerley, Jonathan Millett, Jim Chandle, Anne-Lise Clémence Montreuil

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Geomorphic resilience is the capacity of a system to recover to pre-disturbance conditions following a perturbation. The 2013/14 Atlantic winter storm period had extensive geomorphological impacts and provides an opportunity to assess coastline resilience. This paper uses high spatio-temporal resolution data to quantify the beach-dune response and subsequent recovery of a prograding coastline following the 5 December 2013 North Sea storm surge. It demonstrates that despite the high water levels and destructive nature of the storm, the beach-dune system recovered sediment rapidly over the first post-storm year. Within four years the dune advance had exceeded the seawards position expected based on long-term coastal trends but had not yet recovered the pre-storm foredune profile. Cumulative evidence from numerous European locations suggests one of the stormiest periods on record triggered only a minor disturbance to what appear to be highly resilient beach-dune systems.
Original languageEnglish
Article number011004
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironmental Research Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12 Feb 2019


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