The Ledgewood-Bonair Landslide toe and where did it go? A case study in littoral sediment budgets from a deep-seated landslide in Island County, Washington
On the morning of March 27th, 2013, a small portion of a much larger landslide complex failed on the western shoreline of central Whidbey Island, Island County, Washington. This landslide, known as the Ledgewood-Bonair Landslide (LB Landslide), mobilized as much as 150,000 cubic meters of unconsolidated glacial sediment onto the coastline of the Puget Sound (Slaughter et al., 2013, Geotechnical Engineering Services, 2013). This study aims to determine how sediment from the Ledgewood-Bonair Landslide has acted on the adjacent beaches 400 meters to the north and south, and specifically to evaluate the volume of sediment contributed by the slide to adjacent beaches, how persistent bluff-derived accretion has been on adjacent beaches, and how intertidal grain sizes changed as a result of the bluff-derived sediment, LiDAR imagery from 2013 and 2014 were differenced and compared to beach profile data and grain size photography. Volume change results indicate that of the 41,850 cubic meters of sediment eroded at the toe of the landslide, 8.9 percent was redeposited on adjacent beaches within 1 year of the landslide. Of this 8.9 percent, 6.3 percent ended up on the north beach and 2.6 percent ended up on the south beach. Because the landslide deposit was primarily sands, silts, and clays, it is reasonable to assume that the remaining 91.1 percent of the sediment eroded from the landslide toe was carried out into the waters of the Puget Sound. Over the course of the two-year study, measurable accretion is apparent up to 150 meters north and 100 meters south of the landslide complex. Profile data also suggests that the most significant elevation changes occurred within the first two and half months since the landslides occurrence. The dominant surficial grain size of the beach soon after the landslide was coarse-sand; in the years following the landslide, 150 meters north of the toe the beach sediment became finer while 100 meters south of the toe the beach sediment became coarser. Overall, the LB Landslide has affected beach profile and grain size only locally, within 150 meters of the landslide toe.