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Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award

Spring 2002

Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Hansen, Thor A.

Second Advisor

Schwartz, Maurice L.

Third Advisor

Suczek, Christopher A., 1942-2014

Fourth Advisor

Terich, Thomas


In support of a new hypothesis concerning the origin of dune ridges, fieldwork was carried out on the Long Beach Peninsula, SW Washington State, between 1997 and 2002. Procedures included coring, profiling, measuring and recording cross-section stratigraphy, and collected data analyzed and compiled at Western Washington University. The proposed hypothesis envisions coseismic subsidence, formation of a berm or beach ridge, subsequent uplift, and eolian deposition on the berm or beach ridge to form a new dune ridge. Geomorphic and stratigraphic evidence from the Long Beach Peninsula is presented and compared to the standard models outlined in the literature.

Most of the scientific work done on dune ridge and beach ridge topography around the world has been done in tectonically inactive regions. Normal processes found on passive margin coasts produce dune ridges by variations in sediment supply and sea level. Long Beach Peninsula, situated within the Cascadia Subduction Zone margin, is affected by large subduction zone earthquakes that drop the elevation of the coast by 0.5 to 2.0 m, followed by rebound. Stratigraphic evidence from within the ridges shows wave deposited sands at elevations up to 2 m above present day beach deposits, and elevations above those within the intervening swales. The higher elevation deposits in the ridges are possibly the result of post-earthquake deposition in a higher relative sea level environment.




Dune ridges, Long Beach Peninsula, Dune ridge topography



Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

Beach ridges--Washington (State)--North Beach Peninsula; Coastal ecology--Washington (State)--North Beach Peninsula; Peninsulas--Washington (State)--Long Beach Region

Geographic Coverage

North Beach Peninsula (Wash.); Long Beach Region (Wash.)




masters theses




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