Post-storm geomorphic recovery and resilience of a prograding coastal dune system

Geomorphic resilience is the capacity of a system to recover to pre-disturbance conditions following a perturbation. The 2013/14 Atlantic winter storm period had extensive geomorphological impacts and provides an opportunity to assess coastline resilience. This paper uses high spatio-temporal resolution data to quantify the beach-dune response and subsequent recovery of a prograding coastline following the 5 December 2013 North Sea storm surge. It demonstrates that despite the high water levels and destructive nature of the storm, the beach-dune system recovered sediment rapidly over the first post-storm year. Within four years the dune advance had exceeded the seawards position expected based on long-term coastal trends but had not yet recovered the pre storm foredune profile. Cumulative evidence from numerous European locations suggests one of the stormiest periods on record triggered only a minor disturbance to what appear to be highly resilient beach-dune systems.