• Wave-emplaced boulders: implications for development of "prime real estate" seafront, North Coast Jamaica

      Miller, Servel; Rowe, Deborah-Ann; Brown, Lyndon; Mandal, Arpita; University of Chester; University of the West Indies (Springer, 2013-11-17)
      Jamaica has a long history of damage to the built environment in coastal areas due to storm surge and tsunami. However, there is limited scientific data to aid the establishment of minimal setback distances and to inform mitigation strategies. Developers of coastal area require cost-effective methods to guide their decisions and to develop mitigation strategies to reduce the potential risk posed to development. This paper explores the use of wave-emplaced boulders to determine the wave heights from historical storm surge/tsunami on the North Coast of Jamaica. As most of the study area was undeveloped priory to 1960, there are limited historical written records of storm surges and/or tsunami impact for this specific site. This research undertook geomorphic mapping of the proposed study area to determine the presence, location, spatial distribution, size, density and volume of wave emplaced boulders along a 2-km stretch of coastline earmarked for development. Based on the wave-emplaced boulders mapped, it was possible to determine the approximate wave heights associated with storms and/or tsunami required to deposit them. The implications for development are discussed. The study of wave-emplaced boulders has provided a rapid and cost-effective method to determine minimal setback distance and the approximate height of waves associated with storms and/or tsunami. The technique developed may be transferable to other areas of coastline earmarked for development along the Jamaican coastline