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TitleMultitemporal analysis of a gravel-dominated coastline in the central Canadian Arctic Archipelago
AuthorSt-Hilaire-Gravel, D; Forbes, D L; Bell, T
SourceJournal of Coastal Research vol. 28, no. 2, 2012 p. 421-441,
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20110126
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
NTS58F/11; 58F/12; 58F/13; 58F/14
AreaCanadian Arctic Archipelago; Resolute Bay; Qausuittuq; Cornwallis Island
Lat/Long WENS-95.5000 -94.5000 74.8333 74.6667
Subjectssedimentology; marine geology; coastal studies; coastal erosion; coastal environment; beach deposits; beaches; gravels; climate, arctic; climatic fluctuations; sea level fluctuations; sea level changes; shorelines; shoreline changes
Illustrationslocation maps; photographs; tables; plots
ProgramProgram Management - Climate Change Science, Climate Change Geoscience
AbstractThis study assesses the stability of Arctic gravel coasts across a range of timescales, based on field and remote-sensing studies of three coastal sites near Resolute Bay, Nunavut. It considers shore-zone sensitivity to ice, wind, and wave forcing at storm-event and annual timescales within a longer-term context, including coastal emergence resulting from postglacial isostatic uplift partially counteracted by accelerating sea-level rise. Another long-term factor associated with climate change is the potential for increased seasonal depth of thaw in the beachface and nearshore. The coast in this area is ice bound on average for 10 months of the year, but the annual duration of ice cover has decreased over the past 30 years (1979 - 2009) by 0.95 d/y. A longer open-water season has implications for the number and timing of storm-wave events, with increased probability of storms impacting the coast later in the season when the seasonal thaw layer is approaching maximum thickness. Overall, shoreline progradation surpassed erosion in the Resolute area between 1958 and 2006, reflecting a combination of sediment supply and emergence. The coastal impacts of storms were found to be short lived and not necessarily indicative of longer-term trends. Gravel shorelines can be resilient in the face of intermittent storm impacts, but thresholds of stability in this high-latitude setting are poorly understood. If current trends of rising sea level, increasing open-water duration, and more frequent effective wave events continue, there is a heightened potential for more rapid coastal change in the region.