Print Email Facebook Twitter Barrier island management: Lessons from the past and directions for the future Title Barrier island management: Lessons from the past and directions for the future Author Oost, A.P. Hoekstra, P. Wiersma, A. Flemming, B. Lammerts, E.J. Pejrup, M. Hofstede, J. van der Valk, B. Kiden, P. Bartholdy, J. van der Berg, M.W. Vos, P.C. de Vries, S. Wang, Z.B. Publication year 2012 Abstract The article focuses on the morphological development of the Wadden Sea barrier island system, with emphasis on West and East Frisian islands on several temporal and spatial scales. In addition, it integrates the insights for management purposes. Barrier island management is addressed with respect to morphology, sediment budgets, safety and natural values. We show that each of these issues is determined to some extent to various spatio-temporal scales and that the management of a barrier island has to be considered in terms of interactions on various spatial and temporal scales. Morphology of some of the barrier islands is determined by the pre-existing Pleistocene relief to a fair extent, either directly due to erosion-resistant outcrops on or near the islands, or indirectly by determining the locations where inlet systems or estuaries could develop. Where this is not the case, the larger part of the sediments are locally reworked Pleistocene or Holocene deposits eroded at the North Sea coasts of the barrier chain and deposited in the back-barrier area and on the islands as a response to sea-level rise. Hardly any sand is coming in from outside the area. In order to keep up with sea-level rise sand has thus to be nourished if coastal retreat is not allowed. During the long Holocene evolution islands and ebb-tidal deltas have been lined up during their coastward migration, forming a more or less uninterrupted barrier chain along the Frisian coasts. The present-day approach of mainly focusing on the fixation of the inhabited parts of the chain will most likely result in a de-alignment of the various parts of the chain, resulting in increasing erosion of the promontories. An inlet system is a sediment-sharing system with a tidal inlet, the ebb-tidal delta, adjacent barrier islands and the tidal basin with channels, shoals, tidal flats and salt marshes. The sand balance of a barrier island is thus directly linked to tidal inlet system development. A natural change or an intervention in the sediment-sharing system by man may thus have repercussions for the island's development. Sediment redistribution in the coastal zone may also depend on climate, as is illustrated by the rapid growth of the islands after the demise of the Little Ice Age. On the barrier islands themselves many measures were taken during the past two centuries to ensure coastal safety. The successful attempts to stabilize the coasts and dunes of the barrier islands resulted in a reduction of sand transport from and along the shoreface to the beach and onto the islands. To some extent this has been restored by applying sand nourishments. However, vertical accretion of the islands is still largely impossible due to all the older coastal protection measures still present. On the long run sedimentary dynamics are essential if the island is to accrete vertically with sea-level rise, which forms a robust and sustainable strategy to guarantee safety during the next centuries. Massive stabilization also reduced the opportunities for pioneer vegetation. Dune belts and tidal marshes have experienced a fast succession resulting in a climax vegetation and the loss of the characteristic open landscape. In order to restore nature sufficient space and time should allow natural processes to develop and to create robust ecosystems. Instead of focusing on nature conservation a paradigm shift is needed in barrier island management towards stimulating the development of natural dynamics. To our opinion the best solution is to allow the geo-biological processes to take their natural course as much as possible. Examples are given for the various parts of a prototype barrier island. Only where this is not feasible other management practices should be applied. As a rule of thumb: soft and with respect for morphodynamical integrity where possible, hard where really needed. This concept applies both to the various morpho-ecological units on the islands and to the morphological developments on larger spatio-temporal scales. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Subject Earth & EnvironmentGM - GeomodellingEELS - Earth, Environmental and Life SciencesGeological Survey NetherlandsGeosciencesEnergy / Geological Survey Netherlands To reference this document use: http://resolver.tudelft.nl/uuid:0e2eeb2d-ab24-4305-b83d-ca367a11a769 TNO identifier 469547 ISSN 0964-5691 Source Ocean and Coastal Management, 68, 18-38 Document type article Files To receive the publication files, please send an e-mail request to TNO Library.