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Sedimentary records of coastal storm surges: Evidence of the 1953 North Sea event

Swindles, Graeme T.; Galloway, Jennifer M.; Macumber, Andrew L.; Croudace, Ian; Emery, Andy R.; Woulds, Clare; Bateman, Mark D.; Parry, Lauren; Jones, Julie M.; Selby, Katherine; Rushby, Greg T.; Baird, Andy J.; Woodroffe, Sarah A.; Barlow, Natasha L.M.

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Authors

Graeme T. Swindles

Jennifer M. Galloway

Andrew L. Macumber

Ian Croudace

Andy R. Emery

Clare Woulds

Mark D. Bateman

Lauren Parry

Julie M. Jones

Katherine Selby

Greg T. Rushby

Andy J. Baird

Natasha L.M. Barlow



Abstract

The expression of storm events in the geological record is poorly understood; therefore, stratigraphic investigations of known events are needed. The 1953 North Sea storm surge was the largest natural disaster for countries bordering the southern North Sea during the twentieth century. We characterize the spatial distribution of a sand deposit from the 1953 storm surge in a salt marsh at Holkham, Norfolk (UK). Radionuclide measurements, core scanning X-ray fluorescence (Itrax), and particle size analyses, were used to date and characterise the deposit. The deposit occurs at the onset of detectable 137Cs - coeval with the first testing of nuclear weapons in the early 1950s. The sand layer is derived from material eroded from beach and dunes on the seaward side of the salt marsh. After the depositional event, accumulation of finer-grained silt and clay materials resumed. This work has important implications for understanding the responses of salt marshes to powerful storms and provides a near-modern analogue of storm surge events for calibration of extreme wave events in the geological record.

Citation

Swindles, G. T., Galloway, J. M., Macumber, A. L., Croudace, I., Emery, A. R., Woulds, C., …Barlow, N. L. (2018). Sedimentary records of coastal storm surges: Evidence of the 1953 North Sea event. Marine Geology, 403, 262-270. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.margeo.2018.06.013

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 22, 2018
Online Publication Date Jun 23, 2018
Publication Date Sep 1, 2018
Deposit Date Jun 26, 2018
Publicly Available Date Jun 23, 2019
Journal Marine Geology
Print ISSN 0025-3227
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 403
Pages 262-270
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.margeo.2018.06.013

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