Topographic and hydrodynamic controls on barrier retreat and preservation: an example from Dogger Bank, North Sea

Emery, Andy R.; Hodgson, David M.; Barlow, Natasha L.M.; Carrivick, Jonathan L.; Cotterill, Carol J.; Mellett, Claire L.; Booth, Adam D.. 2019 Topographic and hydrodynamic controls on barrier retreat and preservation: an example from Dogger Bank, North Sea. Marine Geology, 416, 105981.

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Barrier retreat can occur due to in-place drowning, overstepping or rollover, depending on the interplay of controls such as sea-level rise, sediment supply, coastal hydrodynamic regime and topography. Offshore sedimentary archives of barriers active during rapid Holocene sea-level rise provide important records of marine transgression, which are vital analogues to support appropriate mitigation strategies for future coastal realignment under projected relative sea-level rise scenarios. This study analyses the sedimentary archive at Dogger Bank, which is a formerly-glaciated area in the North Sea. Dogger Bank experienced marine transgression due to Early Holocene rapid relative sea-level rise. An integrated dataset of vibrocores and high-resolution seismic reflection data permits a stratigraphic framework to be established, which reveals the buried coastal geomorphology of the southern Dogger Bank for the first time. A transgressive stratigraphy was identified, comprising a topographically complicated basal glacial and terrestrial succession, overlain by two phases of barrier and tidal mudflat deposition, prior to shallow marine sedimentation. Barrier phase A was a recurved barrier drowned in place, and discontinuously overstepped to barrier phase B, which experienced continuous overstepping. By linking barrier elevations to relative sea-level curves, the timing of each barrier phase was established. Both barrier phases retreated during periods of rapid sea-level rise with abundant sediment supply. Coastal hydrodynamics (increasing wave energy) and antecedent topography with spatially variable accommodation are suggested to be the main reason for differing retreat mechanisms, rather than the rate of sea-level rise. Antecedent coastal geomorphology plays a critical role in erosional and depositional patterns during transgression, and therefore on the timing, rate and location of marine inundation, which needs to be included in models that aim to forecast hazards in coastal areas.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 00253227
Date made live: 05 Aug 2019 15:35 +0 (UTC)

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