Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 14

Harper 1

The Impact of Bulkheading on Sediment Composition

Abstract

Lauren Harper

The composition of the sediments within the Barnegat Bay effects the ecosystem at large.

Sediment can directly and indirectly effect “the biological diversity, productivity and ecological functioning of [waterbodies]” (Donohue and Molinos 2008). Suspended sediments reflect

sunlight, rerouting it away from the bottom of the water body. This reduces the possible number of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV), which are photosynthetic organisms; thus, without plentiful access to light, the SAVs will die. Sediment that is smaller in grain size is more easily suspended into the water and can thus make the water more turbid than sediment of a larger grain size. Furthermore, shoreline armoring through the use of bulkheading could potentially change the sediment composition, which could allow for more suspended particles leading to fewer SAVs. This experiment produced no significant data to support the aforementioned possibility.

Introduction

Sediment composition is a dynamic variable that can be influenced by changes in beach morphology or human implemented structures. A similar study completed in 2005 found that “Armored shorelines segments were found to have lower beach profile than unarmored shoreline segments” (Carrasquero-Verde, Abbe, and Morrison). A beach profile is the relative elevation of a beach with regards to the waterline, it is a graph of the general slope of the beach. Therefore, a lower beach profile means that the armored shorelines assisted in the transport of sediment away from the bulkhead and towards the nearby beaches. Thus, the sediment composition at each of these sights will have different values, even if only slightly. In addition, the study found that the beach width was significantly shorter in front of bulkheads and other armored structures, and the highest point of the beaches armored and unarmored was significantly lower in armored beaches (Carrasquero-Verde, Abbe, and Morrison). The bulkheads prohibit landslides and erosion, which starves the beaches of sediment, and they prohibit beaches from absorbing wave energy through wave swash, which changes the dynamic of the water and possibly the dynamic of the sediment beneath. Carrasquero-Verde, Abbe, and Morrison’s study also delineated the typical dissipation of wave energy through diagrams (Figure 1) wave swash erodes and replenishes in a cycle, while incident flow hits the bulk head pushes water down then out along the bottom pushing sediment away from the bulk head, or up and out.

Harper 2

Harper 2 Figure 1: A depiction of wave energy collected from Carrasquero-Verde, Abbe, and Morrison’s 2005

Figure 1: A depiction of wave energy collected from Carrasquero-Verde, Abbe, and Morrison’s 2005 study. Thirty-six percent of the New Jersey shoreline is bound by bulkheading, which reduces the number of refuge areas for juvenile fishes that a salt marsh is supposed to supply (“Effects of Artificial Shorelines” 2007). “Bulkheads extend out from the original shoreline, altering the flow of water and the deposition of sediments, especially fine sand and silt (“Effects of Artificial Shorelines” 2007). The study completed in 2007 found that submerged sediment collected before a bulkhead was larger in size than that of nearby beaches and marsh areas, the water was significantly deeper in front of bulkheads, and of the fewer species found in front of bulkheading the individuals were larger than those of the marshes. (“Effects of Artificial Shorelines”). Sediment composition is the fingerprint of the sample site that reflects the percentage of the varying grain sizes of the sediment. The sediment composition in front of bulkheading has previously been found as finer than that of a natural beach. The finer sediments are more easily suspended into the water column and more difficult to settle out. Their presence in the water

Harper 3

column makes the water more turbid which allows less light to pass through the water to the submerged aquatic vegetation (SAVs). The lack of sunlight to the SAVs limits their life and their production of oxygen. SAVs provide habitat, food, and oxygen for all life within the waterbody and are rooted in the sediments. In conclusion, the null hypothesis is that the sediment composition before a bulkhead is significantly different from the sediment before a beach or marsh.

Methodology

Study Site: Two study sites were selected at the end of Tuscarora Avenue, Waretown New Jersey.

This area was selected for the close proximity between the bulkhead and the shoreline. The study was conducted on September 25, 2015, the air temperature was approximately 72 degrees Fahrenheit, and the wind speed was on average 18mph from the northeast. The weather was moderate, it was cloudy with white stratus clouds, blue skies, and partly sunny.

Harper 3 column makes the water more turbid which allows less light to pass through the

Figure 2: Sample sites one and two otherwise referred to as Shoreline and Bulkhead. September 25, 2015.

Harper 4

Harper 4 Figure 3: Raster data of the sampling location (shoreline). The white and red area

Figure 3: Raster data of the sampling location (shoreline). The white and red area is from 0-5 meters from the waterline, the yellow and blue are is from 5-10 meters from the waterline, and the blue and green area is from 10-15 meters from the waterline. September 25, 2015.

Harper 4 Figure 3: Raster data of the sampling location (shoreline). The white and red area

Harper 5

Figure 4: Raster data of the sampling location (bulkhead). The white and red area is from 0-5 meters from the waterline, the yellow and blue are is from 5-10 meters from the waterline, and the blue and green area is from 10-15 meters from the waterline. September 25, 2015.

Procedure: All sites were sampled between 9:25 and 9:45 on September 25, 2015 by the 2015 MATES Oceanography Class Block 2. At each site (and each of the 4 distances from the shore),

three readings were taken for temperature, salinity, conductivity, pH, and turbidity. One of the three of each of the reading was removed from the data set due to inaccuracy in the YSI meter. Most parameters were measured using the YSI-85, but pH was taken with the Oakton pH Meter, and turbidity was measured with the turbidimeter. Finally at each site and distance (in increments of five) from the shoreline a sample of sediment was taken and sealed away in plastic bags. Sediment samples were taken with the van veen grab sampler.

  • 1. A tape measure was used to measure 5 meters into the bay from the shoreline.

  • 2. Another student walked out into the water with a sample bottle, which was used to measure the water quality parameters other than temperature, and reached below with the grab sampler to retrieve a sediment sample.

  • 3. The samples were brought to shore and properly stored or measured.

  • 4. The water quality samples were measured on site and returned to the bay.

  • 5. The sediment samples were collected and brought back to the school with the students for further analysis.

  • 6. The sediment was laid out on large trays to dry completely or nearly completely out.

  • 7. 15 mL of sediment from each of the 8 samples (3 trials of the 8).

  • 8. 1 mL of dispersing reagent was added on top of the 15 mL of sediment

  • 9. 30 mL of tap water was added to the 15 mL of sediment and 1mL of dispersing reagent.

    • 10. The samples were mixed wholly then left to sit for 45 seconds until the sand was entirely settled out. Then a number in mL was read (out of 15) which could be used to calculate the percent of sand within each sample.

    • 11. Put approximately 200g of each sample into a pie tin and let sit out for 1-2 days to dry.

    • 12. Weigh 100 grams of each of the dried samples and place them in weigh boats.

Harper 6

  • 14. Place the 100 grams of sediment in the top of the sieve then place it on the shaker for three minutes.

  • 15. Separate each tray and place the sediment collected in that tray in an individual weigh boat.

  • 16. Weigh each sample and record.

Statistical Analysis: An ANOVA test was used to analyze all data. ANOVA stands for analysis of variance. The type of ANOVA used in this analysis was the single-factor to determine if there was any statistical significant difference among either the columns or rows of the following tables of data collected. Table 1: The weight of the sediment found out of 100g in its respective size category.

Site 1: Beach

 

Phi

Wentworth

Near Shore

5m

10m

15m

(Φ)

Size Class

-1.25

Granule

4.397

16.657

14.937

0.594

-0.5

Very

3.972

7.881

4.6

1.213

Coarse

Sand

0.25

Coarse

13.974

7.581

12.274

3.354

Sand

0.5

Coarse

12.51

4.662

7.001

2.506

Sand

1

Coarse

35.848

14.614

15.907

18.215

Sand

1.25

Medium

13.453

6.254

7.952

15.707

Sand

2.5

Fine Sand

16.345

35.619

32.225

49.895

3.75

Very Fine

0.075

6.451

4.818

7.93

Sand

CT

Silts

0

0.365

0.588

1.088

Totals

 

100.574

100.08

100.30

100.50

4

2

2

Table 2: The weight of the sediment found out of 100g in its respective size category.

Site 2: Bulkhead

 
 

Near Shore

5m

10m

15m

Harper 7

Phi

Wentworth

     

(Φ)

Class

-2

Pebble

12.437

11.222

0.43

1.289

-1

Granule

2.283

3.056

2.195

1.235

-0.25

Very

1.663

3.905

1.876

2.39

Coarse

Sand

0.75

Coarse

10.998

17.892

11.556

1.873

Sand

1.5

Medium

27.587

25.985

31.48

11.991

Sand

2.25

Fine Sand

27.406

20.908

29.425

11.914

3.5

Very Fine

15.898

11.914

19.504

58.666

Sand

CT

Silts

2.015

1.496

3.957

9.41

Totals

 

100.287

96.378

100.42

99.768

3

No row was statistically different from any of the other rows, however, the columns compared to each other were statistically different. An alpha of 0.05 or less was used to determine significance. T-tests were also used to compare the two sites (shoreline and bulkhead) to determine if there was any statistically significant data between the percent sand in the

sediment and the samples collected as well as sediment that was found (nearshore, 5m away, 10m, or 15m). None of the t-test values returned statistically significant data other than the 10m from shore percent sand and 15m from shore percent sand.

Results

The shoreline samples showed a typical increase in silts the farther from the shore that the samples were taken, while the bulkhead shows no standard trend. Figures 5 and 6 show the gradient that a shoreline has in composition as opposed to a bulkhead (which shows much more randomized groupings). In the nearshore graph interpretation, the bulkhead had more fine sediments than did the shoreline. However, the opposite is true for the 5m and 10m samples. The 15m samples show that the bulkhead again had more fine sediments than did the shoreline. Finally, the significant t-tests reveal that the shoreline samples had significantly higher % sand values than did the bulkhead at distances of 10 and 15 meters from the shoreline.

Harper 8

Harper 8 Figure 5: The changing of the sediment composition relative to each of the varying

Figure 5: The changing of the sediment composition relative to each of the varying distance samples at the shoreline. September 25, 2015.

Harper 8 Figure 5: The changing of the sediment composition relative to each of the varying

Figure 6: The changing of the sediment composition relative to each of the varying distance samples at the bulkhead. September 25, 2015.

Harper 9

Harper 9 Figure 7: The percent of the sediment samples that corresponded to the phi values

Figure 7: The percent of the sediment samples that corresponded to the phi values listed on the x- axis of the graph for the near shore samples. September 25, 2015.

Harper 9 Figure 7: The percent of the sediment samples that corresponded to the phi values

Figure 8: The percent of the sediment samples that corresponded to the phi values listed on the x- axis of the graph for the 5m from shore sediment samples. September 25, 2015.

Harper 10

Harper 10 Figure 9: The percent of the sediment samples that corresponded to the phi values

Figure 9: The percent of the sediment samples that corresponded to the phi values listed on the x- axis of the graph for the 10m from shore sediment samples. September 25, 2015.

Harper 10 Figure 9: The percent of the sediment samples that corresponded to the phi values

Figure 10: The percent of the sediment samples that corresponded to the phi values listed on the x-axis of the graph for 15m from the shore sediment samples. September 25, 2015. Table 3: The t-tests used in this analysis and their corresponding p-values, a p-value of less than 0.05 is considered significant.

T-test Results

Variable

p-value

Bulkhead average percent sand vs. Shoreline

0.12551

Harper 11

 

6

near shore percent sand (compared between shoreline and

0.20786

bulkhead)

5

5m percent sand (compared between shoreline and

0.20645

bulkhead)

9

10m percent sand (compared between shoreline and

0.03991

bulkhead)

4

15m percent sand (compared between shoreline and

0.03530

bulkhead)

1

near shore sediment composition

0.80065

4

5m sediment composition

0.84662

3

10m sediment composition

0.80125

1

15m sediment composition

0.89347

8

Discussion

The data did not produce as many significant results as was expected, however, some of this may be explained by the weather and human error in sampling. On the day of the sampling the winds were at 18.9 mph from the northeast, which churned up the bay water near our sample locations. There were thick mats of flotsam covering much of the shoreline area that had been placed there by the strong winds and waves. Furthermore, the students walking out into the bay before collecting their samples could have led to some error because they were stirring up some of the sediment surrounding their sample collection area. Figures 5 and 6 show the weights of sediment collected from each phi group as a percent of the total which was the total of that sediment collected. Therefore, all of the values are relative to the total amount of that phi group collected at that sample site, which means the graph does not accurately depict the amount of sediment from each of the phi groups. So effectively figure 5 shows that there was more fine sediment collected at 15m out than at 0m out. At the bulkhead as compared to the shoreline, there is physically more grams of fine sediment about 9 times that of the shoreline. These graphs also show that the nearshore bulkhead sediment composition contained less coarse sand than did the shoreline. Figure 7 depicts that there are more coarse

Harper 12

sands in the composition of the shoreline nearshore samples than the bulkhead nearshore samples. Figures 8 and 9 show that the bulkhead has a more uniform composition and that the shoreline samples seem to have a large amount of fine sediments at these depths. Figure 10 shows a rather uniform composition for the first time between the bulkhead and the shoreline, but the bulkhead actually has significantly more fine sediments at this depth than the shoreline. The fact that the sediment composition is averaging out the further from the bulkhead and shoreline the samples are taken from, shows that the bulkhead must play some role in the reason for the sediment disturbance. Carrasquero-Verde, Abbe, and Morrison found similar results which concluded that there was no statistically significant difference between beach substrate type between the unarmored and armored shorelines, but there was a slight shift from sand to gravel/cobble in armored areas (2005). The gravel/cobble might not have been accurately assessed in this sample due to the fact that the students removed the gravel/cobble from the sample before drying the sample. Finally, bulkheads either absorb the shock of waves directly or route them towards nearby shorelines; thus increasing the intensity (through narrowing) and frequency of the waves that attack the shoreline (Carrasquero-Verde, Abbe, and Morrison 2005). This might explain why the shorelines in this study seemed to have more sand and coarser materials than did the bulkheaded areas. No row was statistically different from any of the other rows in the completed t-tests, however, the columns compared to each other were statistically different. This shows that there was no significant difference among the distances from the shoreline/bulkhead, but there is a statistical significance across the board of the percent presence of one sediment size as opposed to another.

The sediment collected from the shoreline sample area was overall coarser than that collected from the bulkhead area. This could be due to the presence of the bulk head and its ability to absorb the wave energy and then distribute the weakened forces more generally, and the pressure of the waves pushed towards the beaches rather than the bulkhead.

Conclusion

The sediment collected from the shoreline sample area was overall coarser than that collected from the bulkhead area. There were significantly higher amounts of sand composition at 10-15 meters from the shoreline than 10-15 meters from the bulkhead. The composition graphs at 15 meters from the shoreline finally seem to average out between the two sample sites. This

Harper 13

indicates that the change in sediment composition near the shore is due to something else near the shore, perhaps the bulkhead, but further research should be conducted to suggest this idea further.

Acknowledgements

Thanks to the MATES Oceanography class Block 2 for collecting this data, the OCVTS bus for transporting the students to the study sites, and Dr. Wnek for assisting the students in all completed methods.

References

Analysis of the relationship between sediment composition and benthic community structure in coastal deposits: Implications for marine aggregate dredging. (1999, May 12). Retrieved October 27, 2015. Carrasquero-Verde, J., Abbe, T., & Morrison, S. (2005). Bulkheading in Thurston County:

Harper 14

Impacts of Forage Fish Spawning Habitat. Retrieved October 27, 2015. Effects of Artificial Shorelines. (2007). Retrieved October 27, 2015. Donohue, I., & Molinos, J. (2008, March 24). Impacts of increased sediment loads on the ecology of lakes. Retrieved October 26, 2015.