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

Sedimentary records of coastal storm surges: Evidence of the 1953 North Sea event
Sedimentary records of coastal storm surges: Evidence of the 1953 North Sea event
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.
0025-3227
262-270
Swindles, Graeme T.
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Galloway, Jennifer M.
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Macumber, Andrew L.
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Croudace, Ian W.
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Emery, Andy R.
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Woulds, Clare
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Bateman, Mark D.
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Parry, Lauren
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Jones, Julie M.
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Selby, Katherine
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Rushby, Greg T.
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Baird, Andy J.
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Woodroffe, Sarah A.
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Barlow, Natasha L.m.
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Swindles, Graeme T.
5775c494-122f-4ec9-8579-639374fa5f59
Galloway, Jennifer M.
fd31ad1c-151b-4727-9a79-160e887b0e31
Macumber, Andrew L.
cd1dbb65-0085-4bc0-af3f-ae284ab9d801
Croudace, Ian W.
24deb068-d096-485e-8a23-a32b7a68afaf
Emery, Andy R.
63750e9f-bcb6-41f5-99a8-a3d925a8c304
Woulds, Clare
58a10ca2-cb85-449b-ba50-deb48d9a12d4
Bateman, Mark D.
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Parry, Lauren
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Jones, Julie M.
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Selby, Katherine
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Rushby, Greg T.
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Baird, Andy J.
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Woodroffe, Sarah A.
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Barlow, Natasha L.m.
a16f0c10-faba-4681-8186-d27a02140573

Swindles, Graeme T., Galloway, Jennifer M., Macumber, Andrew L., Croudace, Ian W., Emery, Andy R., Woulds, Clare, Bateman, Mark D., Parry, Lauren, Jones, Julie M., Selby, Katherine, Rushby, Greg T., Baird, Andy J., Woodroffe, Sarah A. and Barlow, Natasha L.m. (2018) Sedimentary records of coastal storm surges: Evidence of the 1953 North Sea event. Marine Geology, 403, 262-270. (doi:10.1016/j.margeo.2018.06.013).

Record type: Article

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.

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Accepted/In Press date: 22 June 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 23 June 2018
Published date: 1 September 2018

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Local EPrints ID: 422075
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/422075
ISSN: 0025-3227
PURE UUID: 66aa8f3d-8095-4e86-a8e7-fdf7a32680ec

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Date deposited: 16 Jul 2018 16:30
Last modified: 06 Oct 2020 22:35

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Contributors

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

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