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TitleNearshore sediment transport as influenced by Changing Sea Ice, North Shore of Prince Edward Island, Canada
AuthorManson, G K
SourceCanadian Journal of Earth Sciences vol. 59, no. 11, 2022 p. 935-944, Open Access logo Open Access
Alt SeriesNatural Resources Canada, Contribution Series 20210621
PublisherCanadian Science Publishing
Mediaon-line; digital
File formatpdf
ProvincePrince Edward Island
NTS11I; 11J; 11K; 11L; 11M; 11N; 11O; 11P; 21I; 21P; 12A; 12B; 12C; 12D; 12E; 12F; 12G; 12H; 22A; 22H
Lat/Long WENS -66.0000 -56.0000 50.0000 46.0000
Subjectsenvironmental geology; marine geology; Nature and Environment; coastal environment; coastal studies; sediment transport; climate effects; climate; sea ice; Gulf of St. Lawrence Basin; Climate change
Illustrationslocation maps; time series; tables; graphs
ProgramClimate Change Geoscience Coastal Infrastructure
Released2022 03 07
AbstractThis study considers the influence of changing sea ice on nearshore sediment transport in the central north shore of Prince Edward Island, Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence. It is widely accepted that changing climate is causing sea ice to decrease in the region. Sea ice attenuates wave energy thereby reducing sediment transport. The Delft3D hydrodynamic model is used to simulate waves, currents, and sediment transport in seven sea ice concentration scenarios that can be differentiated into four classes: open water (<10%), low ice (10% to 35%), moderate ice (36% to 60%), and high ice (>60%). If ice concentration decreases from high to moderate, sediment transport is expected to increase 23%. Similarly, if ice concentration decreases from moderate to low, sediment transport is expected to increase a further 24%. If ice concentration decreases from low to open water conditions, sediment transport is expected to abruptly increase a further 85%. The increase in sediment transport as sea ice decreases from high concentration to open water conditions is 180%. Linear and power-law fits of sediment transport and sea ice concentration intersect at an ice concentration of 30%, indicating this value may be a useful threshold in planning for increased coastal erosion and developing appropriate adaptation strategies, in particular, adapting to increased sediment transport near tidal inlets and navigation channels.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
While nearshore sea ice can be destructive to infrastructure, often when sea ice is present adjacent to the shore, it reduces wave energy and protects against erosion. Sea ice is decreasing in the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence and is expected to be absent by 2055. As sea ice decreases from high concentrations to open water conditions, modelled nearshore sediment transport increases 180%. The increase is gradual until sea ice concentrations decrease to approximately 30%. Below this concentration, sea ice has little effect on wave energy, and sediment transport increases dramatically to fully open water conditions. It is difficult to relate rates of nearshore sediment transport to rates of coastal erosion, but the results indicate the North Shore of Prince Edward Island will have a more energetic wave climate in the absence of sea ice which suggests increased rates of coastal erosion. Tidal inlets and adjacent shoals may be most affected with implications for navigation and dredging.

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