Abstract

Three digital precision bathymetric data sets spanning 16.1 yr enabled a long-term analysis of the geometric, migration, and volumetric changes to large bedforms in a 1 km2 region of eastern Long Island Sound. Whereas a 1 yr study of sand wave mechanics during 1987 provided indirect evidence of long-term southwestward transport, this study adds a June 2003 data set and conclusively demonstrates a basinward (southwestward) progression of sand waves between 7 and 17 m in height. In addition, the modus operandi of sand wave migration during various temporal scales involves crestal flexing, crestal rotation, and differential migration along the crest. A volumetric analysis suggests that the sand waves are in a waning phase of migration and early stage of preservation as sea level rises into the basin and flood-dominant tidal currents decrease in strength.

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