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Washover of Deltaic Barriers on the Louisiana Coast
Ron Boyd (1), Shea Penland (2)
Washover processes play an important role in the transgressive development of barrier coastlines. Sea level elevation necessary for overwash is composed of a storm surge component, a wave setup component, a wave runup component, and an astronomical tide component. The nature and severity of overwash is a function of overwash elevation, its frequency of occurrence, and regional barrier geometry.
Washover deposits on Louisiana barriers often account for over 50 percent of total sediment storage. Louisiana barriers have evolved by deltaic distributary abandonment; continuing sequential evolution of Mississippi Delta complexes has generated a corresponding sequence of transgressive barriers. The resulting spectrum of barrier geometries has provided an ideal field site for the examination of washover form variability and its controlling processes.
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