Overwash and aeolian processes on a U.S. northeast coast barrier Article

Leatherman, SP, Zaremba, RE. (1987). Overwash and aeolian processes on a U.S. northeast coast barrier . SEDIMENTARY GEOLOGY, 52(3-4), 183-206. 10.1016/0037-0738(87)90061-3

cited authors

  • Leatherman, SP; Zaremba, RE


  • A field investigation of overwash, aeolian processes and vegetative response was undertaken to obtain the first quantitative data of this kind for the New England area. The New England Blizzard of 1978 (February 6-7) resulted in massive overwashing of Nauset Spit, Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Volumetric determinations showed that as much as 400 m3 of overwash sand (per meter of dune breach) was transported across the barrier during this event, with deposition thicknesses of 1.65 m above the living salt marsh. Although considerable amounts of sand were deposited by overwash, much of this sediment was redistributed through aeolian processes during interstorm periods. Approximately half the sediment deposited by the 1978 northeaster was blown back to the beach by offshore winds and an equal amount accumulated in the peripheral dunes at distinct fan features. Large, barren washover flats can remain unvegetated for long periods of time where the substrate is continually affected by overwash and aeolian transport. These areas eventually become the loci of new, major barrier dunes through the revegetation process initiated by drift line deposits. © 1987.

publication date

  • January 1, 1987

published in

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

start page

  • 183

end page

  • 206


  • 52


  • 3-4