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Effect of Dune Removal at Mesaieed on the Adjacent Shoreline

Author(s): G. Lampert; J. S Schoonees; R. Fryar; A. Fraser

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Keywords: Wind Regime; Aeolian Sand Transport; Dune Dynamics; Dune Migration; Dune Types; Barchan Dunes; Sand Supply; Longshore Transport; Shoreline Erosion; Qatar

Abstract: Qatar Petroleum commissioned an environmental impact assessment for the removal of terrestrial sand dunes south of Mesaieed. The impact of the removal of the sand dunes on the adjacent shoreline was investigated by: (1) analysing aeolian sand transport and dune dynamics to predict the rate of terrestrial sand supply to the shoreline; and (2) determining the effect on the marine sand transport budget and therefore on the shoreline if this source of sand is removed. The net aeolian transport rate at the site is approximately 20 m 3 /m per year, south-eastbound. The dunes migrate at 4.7 m/year resulting in an average natural sand supply to the shoreline that ranges from 8 000 m 3 /year to 38 000 m 3 /year. Existing development has already cut off virtually all the wind-blown sand from reaching the shoreline. Natural net longshore transport rates are typically around 3 000 m3/year in the north, increasing to approximately 6 000m 3 /year in the south. No evidence of shoreline progradation was observed over the period covered by historical imagery. Hence, it is believed that sand lost offshore into the deep water beyond the subtidal platform accounts for the difference between the natural aeolian sand supply and the net longshore transport. Littoral modelling supports the conclusions of the aeolian and geomorphological analyses in that the removal of the dune systems will not have significant additional detrimental effect on the coastline, although it is noted that the impacts of the existing development will continue. Coastal structures on the subtidal platform are considered the dominant cause of localised beach erosion along the undeveloped section of the Mesaieed coast.


Year: 2010

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