Beach-dune morphodynamics and climatic variability in Gwaii Haanas National Park and Haida Heritage Site, British Columbia, Canada




Cumming, Rebecca Miville

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This thesis describes the geomorphology and morphodynamics of two embayed, sandy, macrotidal beach-dune systems in the Cape St. James region of Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site. Gilbert Bay beach is a small embayment with a southwest aspect that exhibits prograding dune ridges. Woodruff Bay beach, a larger system with a SE aspect, is characterized by large erosional scarps on the established foredune. Aspect to erosive conditions and embayment size control the distinct morphologic responses of these beach-dune systems. The morphodynamic regime at Cape St. James consists of high onshore sediment transport potential combined with an increasingly erosive water level regime that is forced by PDO and ENSO climatic variability events. Conceptual models of potential future responses of these beaches to sea level rise show a possible landward migration of up to 3.5 m at Gilbert Bay beach and up to 4 m at Woodruff Bay beach.



coastal geomorphology, Haida Gwaii, beach-dune, Queen Charlotte Islands, ENSO, PDO