A backbarrier overwash record of intense storms from Brigantine, New Jersey

TitleA backbarrier overwash record of intense storms from Brigantine, New Jersey
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsDonnelly, JP, Butler, J, Roll, S, Wengren, M, Webb, T
JournalMarine Geology
Date PublishedSep 15
Accession NumberWOS:000223851300007

Analysis of aerial photographs and historic charts indicates that the barrier beach at Brigantine, NJ has migrated landward 300 to 400 m since 1869, primarily as a result of overwash during hurricanes and winter storms. A series of vibracores from the backbarrier salt marsh reveals a millennial-scale stratigraphic record of overwash deposition. Carbon-14 (C-14) and Cesium-137 (Cs-137) radioisotopic methods were used to date over-wash deposits (washovers). The ages of recent washovers are consistent with deposition during intense storms in 1938, 1944, 1950, and 1962. An additional overwash deposit recovered in five of the sediment cores was likely deposited by an intense hurricane strike in 1821 or possibly in 1788. Two prehistoric overwash fans were likely deposited by intense storms striking the New Jersey Coast in the 7th to l4th centuries and 6th to 7th centuries A.D. The landward barrier migration indicates that the older overwash sediments were likely transported a considerably greater distance than the more recent overwash fans. The greater distance of transport may indicate that the prehistoric storms that deposited overwash fans across the study site were more intense than the most intense storm to strike this coast in the historic period, the hurricane of 182 1. The spatially variable occurrence of overwash deposition at this site points to a need for multisite stratigraphic surveys of extensive stretches of the coast in order to develop reliable records of past intense storm frequency from backbarrier environments. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.