Date of Award

Spring 5-4-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)


Marine Science


College of Science

First Advisor

Till JJ Hanebuth


With climate change altering established seasonal and weather phenomena, understanding the physical behavior of barrier islands and the processes driving such physical changes, specifically within their dune zones, is crucial in promoting their resiliency. With ecosystem services provided by dunes to coastal economies and wildlife habitat, promoting dune conservation serves to advance the benefits of these systems, within a changing climate. Current findings by the Army Corps of Engineers Field Research Facility in Duck, NC, suggest the significance of local aeolian sediment transport in interplay with storm intensity in effecting dune stability, and that anthropogenic impacts, like the installment of wooden beach accesses versus paved walkways can either aid or harm the strength of these natural systems, falling on the decisions of local communities. In this study, Time-Lapse and Still Photography was used to monitor and document the morphodynamic evolution of 45m and 20m wide dune sections in Corolla, NC, within a one-year timescale. Monthly dune topography elevation measurements were established to quantitatively emphasize effects of physical processes being illustrated within the footage and photographs captured. It was found that Scarping recovery time took 6.9 months, aligning with the collision regime established by Sallenger (2000), and that summer and winter profiles matched understandings of seasonal variations: stronger wind and wave energy in the winter, with the Time-Lapse qualitatively illustrating these concepts. Vegetation dwindled in the winter, as expected, and sand fences were effective in accumulating sediment, showing net growth. The findings in this study support modern dune studies, providing visual demonstrations of subtleties within dune dynamics so to provide future guidance to coastal homeowners

Included in

Geomorphology Commons