Robin Davidson-Arnott

Robin Davidson-Arnott
University of Guelph | UOGuelph · Department of Geography

Ph.D. Geography, 1975

About

141
Publications
36,476
Reads
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6,009
Citations
Citations since 2017
24 Research Items
2684 Citations
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Introduction
I am continuing to complete the writing-up of past work on coastal dunes and aeolian transport. I am also actively involved in research in the Great Lakes on erosion of cohesive coasts, the potential role of longshore sandwaves on both sandy beach systems and cohesive bluffs, and the impact of recent high lake levels on erosion and the longevity of shore protection structures.
Additional affiliations
September 1976 - present
University of Guelph
Position
  • Professor Emeritus

Publications

Publications (141)
Article
Full-text available
This article provides an overview of the impact of Hurricane Fiona in September 2022 on the North coast of Prince Edward island. It assess the impact of the storm on coastal dunes at Greenwich Dunes, Prince Edward Island National Park and the role of the dunes in protecting the area landward from the impact of inundatin and storm waves.
Article
Wind flow and sediment transport across a northern California beach‐foredune system with two adjacent vegetation types are examined for the same incident wind conditions. The invasive Ammophila arenaria was taller (~1 m) with denser coverage than the neighbouring Elymus mollis alliance canopy (~0.65 m), which consisted of a variety of interspersed...
Article
This Special Section brings together 10 papers with a focus on historical and contemporary processes operating on sandy beach and dune systems in the Great Lakes. Three groupings of papers can be recognised, encompassing the Holocene evolution of dune systems in the Great Lakes, processes operating on modern systems, and the impacts of water level...
Data
This is a PDF of a C2C Zoominar which is based on the paper and provides additional support for it. A link to the You Tube zoominar is also given. Robin Davidson-Arnott, July 6, 2021
Article
Dune systems in Atlantic Canada are relatively small given a relatively low sediment supply. The dunes are built primarily of reworked sediments as relative sea level (RSL) has risen. The foredune (at least) is reworked several times a decade by extreme weather events and many are transgressing on a decadal scale as a result of normal geomorphic pr...
Article
Full-text available
This paper offers a synthesis of the disparate evidence on the importance of the magnitude and duration of water level rise in both lacustrine and marine environments in relation to other long-term controls on coastal response (e.g., wind climatology, vegetation growth, geological context). A brief review of two 'equilibrium profile' models (i.e.,...
Chapter
Nearshore bars are meso-scale sedimentary features formed in the nearshore and intertidal zone of shoaling and breaking waves. They are composed primarily of sand; however, small quantities of both gravel and silt are often present, primarily in the deeper water of the trough that forms landward of the bar. They are 0.25–4 m high, 25–150 m wide and...
Article
Although the effectiveness of windbreaks in reducing wind speed and sediment transport is highly dependent on the efficiency of individual elements, few field studies have evaluated the effectiveness of single plants typical of arid areas such as Tamarix. A series field experiments were conducted in the Niatak area of Sistan to assess the effective...
Article
The Ongole coastal dunefield (OCD) is about 20 km long and 2.5 to 3 km wide, and is located to the east of Ongole town between the mouth of the Paleru river in the south and a small creek in the north. Much of the dunefield lies 3-5 m above sea level with some large dune ridges reaching 10-12 m. The area landward of the dune field consists of an ex...
Article
Windbreaks are barriers that are widely used to reduce wind speed and aeolian erosion. Most windbreak studies have been done in wind tunnels and generally used rigid objects rather than live plants and most of these studies report on the modification of the flow field and not on the effectiveness at reducing sediment transport. A series of experime...
Chapter
Most dunes along the 16, 000-km long shorelines of the Laurentian Great Lakes formed after lake levels fell from highs at 5 to 3.5 ka. Foredunes develop during decadal scale variations in lake levels, forming during low and eroding during high lake levels. More permanent foredune plain complexes, with parallel dune ridges separated by swales, form...
Article
The Sistan region in southeastern Iran is one of the country’s main dust storm areas. To reduce the frequency and intensity of dust storms using efficient windbreaks is critical. In a field study the sheltering effect of a multiple-row windbreak (14 rows of Tamarix aphylla) in the Niatak area was evaluated by obtaining the vertical and horizontal v...
Article
Full-text available
Coastal dunes are experiencing increases in vegetation cover and reduced mobility levels in many sites around the world. Ecology-led approaches to coastal dune management perceive this change as ‘undesirable’ because the increase in plant cover leads to a reduction in partially vegetated to bare sand habitats and the species depending on them. This...
Book
Written for anyone interested in coastal geomorphology, this is the complete guide to the processes at work on our coastlines and the resulting features seen in coastal systems across the world. Accessible to students from a range of disciplines, the quantitative approach of this book helps to build a solid understanding of wave and current process...
Book
Cambridge Core - Oceanography and Marine Science - Introduction to Coastal Processes and Geomorphology - by Robin Davidson-Arnott
Article
Beaches and dunes are one of the most heavily used environments on Earth, with tourism and residential uses leading to ecosystem loss and dune degradation. Many coastal dune fields also host a range of economic activities such as farming, mining, and animal grazing, which can affect their evolution. The second half of the 20th century has seen an i...
Article
Full-text available
Parabolic dunes are widespread aeolian landforms found in a variety of environments. Despite modeling advances and good understanding of how they evolve, there is limited empirical data on their dynamics at short time scales of hours and on how these dynamics relate to their medium-term evolution. This study presents the most comprehensive data set...
Poster
Full-text available
During a larger field experiment in October 2011 at Jericoacoara National Park, Ceará, Brazil, a vertical array of 5 Wenglor 80 mm path-length, laser particle counters (LPC) was deployed within the floor of an old blowout. The LPCs were arranged at heights of 25, 45, 75, 125 and 230 mm above the bed and a 2-D sonic anemometer was positioned at a he...
Article
A commonly deployed particle-counting system for aeolian saltation flux, consisting of a Wenglor fork sensor and an Onset Hobo Pulse Input Adapter linked to an Onset Hobo Energy Logger Pro data logger, was tested for frequency response. The Wenglor fork sensor is an optical gate device that has very fast switching capacity that can accommodate the...
Article
The form, height and volume of coastal foredunes reflects the long-term interaction of a suite of nearshore and aeolian processes that control the amount of sand delivered to the foredune from the beach versus the amount removed or carried inland. In this paper, the morphological evolution of more than six decades is used to inform the development...
Article
Full-text available
Despite widespread recognition that landforms are complex Earth systems with process-response linkages that span temporal scales from seconds to millennia and spatial scales from sand grains to landscapes, research that integrates knowledge across these scales is fairly uncommon. As a result, understanding of geomorphic systems is often scale-const...
Conference Paper
Coastal dunes move through natural phases of stability and instability during their evolution, displaying various temporal and spatial patterns across the dune field. Recent observations, however, have shown exceptionally rapid rates of stability through increased vegetative growth. This progressive vegetation colonisation and consequent loss of ba...
Article
The central north shore of Prince Edward Island comprises embayments separated by subtle headlands that may constrain nearshore sediment transport. The study area includes two such embayments informally known as Brackley and Tracadie bights, both of which are sand-rich onshore and sand-starved between 20 and 50mwater depth. Storm winds and waves fr...
Article
Flow dynamics and sediment transport responses over a large, vegetated foredune at Prince Edward Island, Canada, during an offshore wind event are examined. Data were collected along an instrumented transect that extended from the dune crest, down the lee-side (seaward) slope of the dune, across a wave-cut scarp, and on to the back-beach. When the...
Chapter
Full-text available
Introduction For millennia people have valued coastal environments for their rich soils, harvestable food resources and access to the oceans. From ancient times to the present, cities and ports have flourished at the coast and this value continues into the twenty-first century. With globalisation and international trade becoming central to many wor...
Article
Vertical profiles of aeolian sediment flux are commonly modeled as an exponential decay of particle (mass) transport with height above the surface. Data from field and wind-tunnel studies provide empirical support for this parameterization, although a large degree of variation in the precise shape of the vertical flux profile has been reported. Thi...
Article
Reynolds shear stress (RS = –u′ w′) and sand transport patterns over a vegetated foredune are explored using three-dimensional velocity data from ultrasonic anemometers (at 0 · 2 and 1 · 2 m) and sand transport intensity from laser particle counters (at 0 · 014 m). A mid-latitude cyclone on 3–4 May 2010 generated storm-force winds (exceeding 20 m s...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Temporal and spatial scale of aeolian flux on a vegetated foredune during a high energy event R. Davidson‐Arnott, B.O. Bauer, I.J. Walker, P.A. Hesp, J. Ollerhead, C. Chapman In the past two decades the advent of high frequency acoustic and piezo‐electric sensors has advanced our understanding of the temporal pattern of aeolian transport on beache...
Article
Near‐surface airflow over a morphologically simple, vegetated, 8 m high foredune with a small wave‐cut scarp was measured for onshore to oblique‐onshore conditions during a low‐moderate (5–6 m s‐1 ) wind event and a high velocity (11–18 m s‐1) sand‐transporting gale event. Flow across the foredune was characterized by significant flow compression a...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Aeolian streamers are common in prototype saltation systems. Streamers are elongate, flow-aligned features within which the concentrations of saltating grains are large relative to a spanwise average concentration. The occurrence of streamers introduces substantial spatial and temporal variability in local sand transport rates. There have been few...
Article
The purpose of this study was to quantify relationships between season, sediment availability, sediment transport pathways, and beach/foredune morphology at Greenwich Dunes, PEI. This was done for periods ranging from a few days to multiple decades using erosion pins, bedframe measurements, annual surveys, and digital photogrammetry using historica...
Article
Nearshore bars are formed in the nearshore and intertidal zone of shoaling and breaking waves. They are 0.25-4. m high, 25-150. m wide, and 50. m to several kilometers long. Most bars form parallel to the coast and have a gently sloping stoss slope, rounded crest and a steeper lee slope that may approach the angle of repose. The most accepted model...
Article
Full-text available
This paper explores new possibilities offered by moisture maps obtained from a remote sensing system to evaluate the effect of measuring moisture at different spatial resolutions. The data are derived from a moisture map generated from an image taken during an aeolian event on October 21, 2007 at Greenwich Dunes, Prince Edward Island National Park,...
Article
Evidence from a field study on wind flow and sediment transport across a beach–dune system under onshore and offshore conditions (including oblique approach angles) indicates that sediment transport response on the back-beach and stoss slope of the foredune can be exceedingly complex. The upper-air flow – measured by a sonic anemometer at the top o...
Article
A remote sensing technique for assessing beach surface moisture was used to provide insight into beach-surface evolution during an aeolian event. An experiment was carried out on 21 October 2007 at Greenwich Dunes, Prince Edward Island National Park, Canada, during which cameras were mounted on a mast on the foredune crest at a height of about 14m...
Article
Wind flow and sand transport intensity were measured on the seaward slope of a vegetated foredune during a 16-hr storm using an array of sonic anemometers and Wenglor laser particle counters. The foredune had a compound seaward slope with a wave-cut scarp about 0.5 m high separating the upper vegetated portion from the lower dune ramp, which was ba...
Article
Recent research on quasi-instantaneous turbulent kinematic Reynolds stresses (RS, − u′w′) and decomposed quadrant event activity (e.g., ejections and sweeps) over dunes in fluvial settings and in wind tunnels has shown that turbulent stresses at the toe of a dune often exceed time-averaged, streamwise shear stress (ρ u * 2) estimates. It is believe...
Article
Full-text available
The term ‘wave-dominated coast’ is applied to coasts with an abundance of sediment (primarily sand but including gravel and cobbles) and where contemporary coastal evolution is shaped through erosion, transport, and deposition of sediment by waves and wave-generated currents. These coasts are also influenced by tides and tidal currents, but they pl...
Article
Full-text available
A field experiment to measure the effects of differing concentrations of pebbles on rate of eoliao sediment transport was carried out on a sand beach on the Northumberland Strait, New Brunswick. Square ceramic tiles (0.15 m × 0.15 m) were used to replicate pebbles. These were deployed in a stratified random array in a rectangular plot 5 m wide and...
Article
Full-text available
In this study, changes in land cover and land use patterns that occurred between 1985 and 2000 in the surrounding basin of the Barra de Navidad coastal lagoon in Jalisco, Mexico are quantified and explained. Two satellite images from 1985 (Landsat TM) and 2000 (Landsat ETM+) were analyzed with supervised classification and ground truthing to evalua...
Article
Full-text available
In this study, changes in land cover and land use patterns that occurred between 1985 and 2000 in the surrounding basin of the Barra de Navidad coastal lagoon in Jalisco, Mexico are quantified and explained. Two sate-llite images from 1985 (Landsat TM) and 2000 (Landsat ETM+) were analyzed with supervised classification and ground truthing to evalu...
Article
Observations of aeolian transport in coastal areas have focused on short-term experiments because of limitations imposed by instrumentation. This paper uses a case study at Greenwich Dunes, Prince Edward Island National Park, Canada, to analyze how sediment transport takes place at the beach over periods of weeks to months. A monitoring station pro...
Article
Full-text available
Toe erosion and rates of recession of the toe were measured at four sites along a 3.5 km long stretch of shoreline on the south shore of Lake Erie from April to December 1986. The shoreline consists of bluffs ranging from 5 to 12 m in height and developed in overconsolidated till. Toe erosion was measured at peg lines consisting of pins driven hori...
Article
Full-text available
Field measurements from 1985 to 1990 and sequential aerial photography since 1945 show that overwash plays an extremely important role in the dynamics of Long Point, a large barrier spit on the north shore of Lake Erie. Overwash occurs primarily in the transgressive proximal and central zones of the spit, which together account for some 65% of the...
Article
Full-text available
Textural analysis of sands from the morphodynamic environments of a tidal, shallow-water, wave environment in Kouchibouguac Bay, New Brunswick, reveals sediment populations that are statistically unique to each zone under low wave energy conditions. Measures of average size ( mean), sorting ( standard deviation and relative entropy), and skewness o...
Article
Full-text available
Greenwich Dunes, Prince Edward Island National Park, is a sandy mainland and barrier spit beach-dune complex stretching for about 10 km along the northeast shore of Prince Edward Island, Canada. In October 1923, surge associated with an intense storm produced catastrophic overwash along the whole length of the study area. Subsequent evolution of th...
Article
Full-text available
This paper reports on a remote sensing station specifically designed to investigate eolian processes at a beach-dune system. The monitoring station is located at Greenwich Dunes, Prince Edward Island National Park, Prince Edward Island (Canada), and it is the second, improved generation of a previous system using continuous video and photographs. T...
Article
During a field experiment designed to measure wind flow and sediment transport over the beach and foredune at Greenwich Dunes, Prince Edward Island National Park, measurements were made on October 11, 2004, during a storm with wind speeds ranging from 4 ms− 1 to over 20 ms− 1. This paper examines thresholds of sand movement, intermittency and the r...
Article
This study reports the responses of three-dimensional near-surface airflow over a vegetated foredune to variations in the conditions of incident flow during an 8-h experiment. Two parallel measurement transects were established on morphologically different dune profiles: i) a taller, concave–convex West foredune transect with 0.5-m high, densely ve...
Article
Temporal and spatial changes in wind speed, wind direction, and moisture content are ubiquitous across sandy coastal beaches. Often these factors interact in unknown ways to create complexity that confounds our ability to model sediment transport at any point across the beach as well as our capacity to predict sediment delivery into the adjacent fo...
Article
Full-text available
High-frequency measurements of airflow from ultrasonic anemometers and time-averaged cup anemometer profiles were taken during an oblique alongshore sand-transporting event (6.7 m/s) over a vegetated foredune in May 2002 as part of a larger study on the sedimentary dynamics of a beach-dune complex in Greenwich Dunes, Prince Edward Island National P...
Article
Full-text available
WALKER, I., 2009. Mean flow and turbulence responses in airflow over foredunes: Has new instrumentation improved our understanding? Journal of Coastal Research, SI 56 (Proceedings of the 10th International Coastal Symposium), 366 – 370. Lisbon, Portugal, ISSN 0749-0258 This paper reviews recent progress in quantifying airflow over foredunes using t...
Article
Full-text available
2009. Instantaneous and mean aeolian sediment transport rate on beaches: an intercomparison of measurements from several sensor types. Recently several new instruments, such as the Saltiphone, Sensit, Safire and laser sensors, have made it possible to measure aeolian transport in the field at a frequency of 1 Hz, allowing us to evaluate the relatio...
Article
Full-text available
Near-surface airflow over a morphologically simple, vegetated 8m high foredune with a small wave cut scarp was measured during a high velocity (11-18 ms(-1)), onshore, sand-tran sporting gale event. Flow across the foredune was characterized by topographically forced accelerations up the steep stoss slope leading to a progressive increase upslope i...
Article
Full-text available
Aeolian sediment transport from the beach to the foredune system can be predicted for periods of months or years from hourly wind data collected at standard meteorological stations. However, there is no corresponding data set of transport-limiting factors such as beach surface moisture, snow and ice, pebble lag and restricted fetch length. The remo...
Article
Full-text available
This article describes the testing and calibration of a digital video camera system used to measure surface moisture over a section of beach extending tens of metres alongshore using the brightness of the sand surface. The system consisted of two networked video cameras mounted on a mast on the foredune crest about 14 m above the beach surface and...
Article
Focuses attention on the issue of shoreline modification and discusses ways in which the significance and sensitivity of this shoreline resource can be recognized and planning for its proper use be achieved. Attempts to outline the implications of natural and human shoreline modification and to consider opportunities and strategies for coping more...
Article
This paper presents results from a study designed to explore the effects of beach surface moisture and fetch effects on the threshold of movement, intensity of sand transport by wind and mass flux. The experiment was carried out over a period of five weeks at Greenwich Dunes, Prince Edward Island, Canada in May and June 2002. Moisture content was m...
Article
A field study was conducted to determine the controls on spatial patterns of sediment deposition across a salt marsh surface in the Bay of Fundy. Approximately 670 surface-mounted sediment traps were deployed over 28 different tidal cycles in a variety of spatial configurations and environmental conditions. Spatial patterns of deposition were deriv...
Article
Intertidal bar systems are ubiquitous features on wave-dominated beaches in coastal settings with a significant (> 1 m) tidal range. Depending primarily on the wave conditions and the tidal range, and to a lesser extent on the nearshore gradient, they can assume a variety of forms. Slip-face bars represent the most pronounced and dynamic intertidal...
Article
This paper examines the spatial and temporal variability in the volumetric sediment balance of Allen Creek marsh, a macro-tidal salt marsh in the Bay of Fundy. The volumetric balance was determined as the balance of inputs of sediments and organic matter via accretion on the marsh surface and outputs of sedimentary material primarily due to erosion...
Article
Full-text available
Over the past 40 years, consideration of the potential effect of sea level rise on sandy coasts has been dominated by the conceptual model proposed in the Bruun Rule, which is used to predict the horizontal translation of the shoreline associated with a given rise in sea level. A review of the hypotheses that form the basis for this two-dimensional...
Article
This paper reports on an analysis of instantaneous sediment transport in relation to wind gusts, moisture content and fetch length from a field study carried out at Skallingen, Denmark. Wind speeds were measured with cup anemometers and instantaneous sediment transport with vertical traps coupled to electronic balances. Moisture content was measure...
Article
Full-text available
A simple technique for rapid measurement of moisture content at a point on a beach with a Delta-T moisture probe is described. The sensing elements of the probe consist of four stainless steel rods (6 cm long) which, when inserted into the beach sediments, measure the impedance introduced by the presence of moisture. To provide a realistic measure...
Article
Time-averaged windspeed profiles at eight locations over a relatively high (8 m), vegetated, topographically simple foredune were measured using cup and ultrasonic anemometry during an onshore wind event in May 2002. The experiment was part of a larger study on the sedimentary dynamics of a beach–dune complex in the Greenwich Dunes, Prince Edward I...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
During a field experiment designed to measure wind flow and sediment transport over the beach and foredune at Greenwich Dunes, Prince Edward Island National Park, measurements were made over the course of one day, October 10, 2004, during a storm with wind speeds ranging from 4 ms-1 to over 20 ms-1. This paper reports on sediment transport rates me...
Article
A significant problem in current coastal research is the understanding of linkages between morphological phenomena occurring on different temporal and spatial scales. Morphodynamic processes in the nearshore typically exhibit nonlinear behaviour and consequently, phenomena which occur on short temporal (event) scales as, e.g. observed during field...
Article
Full-text available
Landward migration of barriers occurs in response to a negative sediment budget and/or sea level rise. The ability of the foredune to migrate landward while maintaining its size is determined by the rate at which aeolian sediment transfers across the foredune take place. On the transgressive barrier spit Skallingen, sediment deposition on the crest...
Article
Full-text available
Landward migration of barriers occurs in response to a negative sediment budget and/or sea level rise. The ability of the foredune to migrate landward while maintaining its size is determined by the rate at which aeolian sediment transfers across the foredune take place. On the transgressive barrier spit Skallingen, sediment deposition on the crest...