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Cross Analysis of Morphological Evolution and Internal Architecture of an Active Mixed Sand-Gravel Barrier Spit (Somme Bay, Northern France)

Abstract : Morphodynamic evolution of coastal barriers and the way it is recorded in the internal structure are still revealing many uncertainties. Coastal spits have a high potential of preservation due to their fast elongation under littoral drift, and are thus suitable for this kind of study. Compared to sandy spits, gravel and mixed spits are understudied. Yet these coarse-grained coastal barriers are sensitive sedimentary bodies due to the high energy conditions they are usually associated with and to often scarce sediment supply. The present study focus on the relationships between multi-decadal morphological evolution of a mixed sand and gravel spit in the bay of Somme (Northern France) and its sedimentary architecture. A geophysical survey using a 400 MHz GPR GSSI antenna have been performed on the Molliere spit, a fast-growing secondary spit developing along the main 15 km-long Somme barrier spit. The development of this sedimentary body starts in the 1940s and allows a morpho-stratigraphical approach, thanks to the cross analysis of aerial photographs and GPR profiles. The spit is 5 km long and is composed of several ridges, sometimes with hooks at the tip. A synthetic depositional and stratigraphical model specific to gravel spits is proposed, based on radar profiles and aerial photographs analysis, differentiating three contrasting morpho-sedimentary units. The Unit 1, at the spit root, is characterized by mainly progradating structures that can be assimilated to a beach ridge. The Unit 2, in the central part of the spit, is characterized by individual ridges with a core structure reflecting a longshore development, topped by an aggradating unit associated to a cross-shore-dominated dynamics. The third unit, at the spit terminus, is also mainly characterized by longshore dynamics, but interfering with sand bank dynamics due to the proximity of the Somme estuary and the development of the spit platform. Larger-scale GPR prospecting, especially in older coast sections, will be necessary to understand how this fast secondary spit development (decadal to centennial time scale) is integrated into the longer-term (millennial) construction dynamics of the main Somme spit.
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https://hal-normandie-univ.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03079076
Contributor : Léo Pancrazzi <>
Submitted on : Thursday, December 17, 2020 - 9:35:43 AM
Last modification on : Friday, December 18, 2020 - 3:32:12 AM

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Léo Pancrazzi, Pierre Weill, Bernadette Tessier, Laurent Benoît, Sophie Le Bot. Cross Analysis of Morphological Evolution and Internal Architecture of an Active Mixed Sand-Gravel Barrier Spit (Somme Bay, Northern France). AGU 2020 Fall Meeting, Dec 2020, Virtual, United States. ⟨10.1002/essoar.10505396.1⟩. ⟨hal-03079076⟩

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