Confirmation of beach accretion by grain-size trend analysis: Camposoto beach, Cádiz, SW Spain
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DepartmentCiencias de la Tierra
SourceGeo-Marine Letters (2013) 33:263–272
An application of the grain size trend analysis (GSTA) is used in an exploratory approach to characterize sediment transport on Camposoto beach (Cádiz, SW Spain). In May 2009 the mesotidal beach showed a well-developed swash bar on the upper foreshore, which was associated with fair-weather conditions prevailing just before and during the field survey. The results were tested by means of an autocorrelation statistical test (index I of Moran). Two sedimentological trends were recognized, i.e. development towards finer, better sorted and more negatively skewed sediment (FB–), and towards finer, better sorted and less negatively or more positively skewed sediment (FB+). Both vector fields were compared with results obtained from more classical approaches (sand tracers, microtopography and current measurements). This revealed that both trends can be considered as realistic, the FB+ trend being identified for the first time in a beach environment. The data demonstrate that, on the well-developed swash bar, sediment transported onshore becomes both finer and better sorted towards the coast. On the lower foreshore, which exhibits a steeper slope produced by breaking waves, the higherenergy processes winnow out finer particles and thereby produce negatively skewed grain-size distributions. The upper foreshore, which has a flatter and smoother slope, is controlled by lower-energy swash-backwash and overwash processes. As a result, the skewness of the grain-size distributions evolves towards less negative or more positive values. The skewness parameter appears to be distributed as a function of the beach slope and, thus, reflects variations in hydrodynamic energy. This has novel implications for coastal management.