On Wednesday 17th, 2pm, we will be hosting Matthew P. Conlin, who is a PhD student in the Department of Geological Sciences, University of Florida. Matthew will be presenting to us from Florida on:
Quantifying Seasonal‐to‐Interannual‐Scale Storm Impacts on Beach Morphology Along a Cuspate Coast with a Hybrid Empirical Orthogonal Function Approach
Related Paper: https://doi.org/10.1029/2020JF005617
The direct impacts of storms on beaches have been well studied; less well understood are the controls of storms on their seasonal‐interannual evolution. We apply a novel empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis to a 5‐year data set of monthly subaerial beach topography at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, to extract dominant spatiotemporal topographic patterns. Our hybrid surface EOF (SEOF) approach applies 1‐D EOF techniques to a data set varying in two dimensions, thereby extracting topographic patterns in the longshore and cross‐shore simultaneously while preserving the analytical simplicity of 1‐D approaches. These topographic patterns are then linked to observations of storm impacts. Our approach comprehensively illustrates that storms influenced local topographic evolution over event‐to‐interannual‐timescales. The first mode of topographic variability captures an interannual‐scale change in behavior triggered by the impact of Hurricane Sandy (2012), whereby a cape feature began and sustained rapid aggradation following the event. This pattern is likely linked to storm‐response processes and pre‐existing morphodynamic feedbacks, illustrating that storm response can dictate poststorm recovery processes. This pattern overwhelmed a spatially uniform, seasonal topographic signal, which we attribute to seasonal variability in water level and storminess forcings. The third mode shows links to local framework geology and suggests that some storms can create and/or destroy subaerial berms at this site, where spatial variability of berm existence in discrete longshore compartments can remain stable until a future event. Our results illustrate mechanisms by which storms can create persistent topographic imprints that remain visible for months‐years following events, potentially influencing response to future storms.