Chesapeake Bay Dune Monitoring

The Shoreline Studies Program's Chesapeake Bay Dune Monitoring project analyzed four years of biannual monitoring data at nine selected dune sites around Chesapeake Bay. The analysis included data taken before and after a major hurricane (Hurricane Isabel, September 18, 2003) impacted the sites.dune monitoring The study showed contradictory results which indicates the complexity of each individual system. Key results were:
  • Dune sites are quite resilient to storm attack and generally recover quickly.
  • The presence of nearshore bars add to the stability of a site but also result in highly mobile systems which are difficult to categorize. Nearshore attached bars are the deciding factor for stability. They provide the protection needed for the backshore and make sand available for aeolian transport necessary for dune creation.
  • Preliminary studies showed that a dune system may serve a role in ground water quality remediation when the water is discharged into shallow ground water systems from upland landscapes that have demonstrated elevated nitrogen loadings.

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