Finkl, C.W. and Makowski, C., 2022. Classification of coastal belts in the Argentine subpolar southeast coast of Tierra del Fuego using the BCCS (Biophysical Cross-shore Classification System). Journal of Coastal Research, 38(5), 908–924. Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208.

The Biophysical Cross-shore Classification System (BCCS) was experimentally applied to the southeast coast of Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, by compartmentalizing the coast into seven discrete coastal belts that retained a degree of homogeneity from 2 km offshore to about 5 km inland. By interpreting satellite imagery, coastal belts were subdivided into cross-shore transects with alongshore spread to produce codified concatenations that characterized specific eco-geomorphological sequences comprising domains. Different types of domains were identified by archetypes that specified a particular Dominant Catenary Sequence (DCS), which in turn was refined by the inclusion of subarchetypes to produce a Coastal Ecological Sequence (CES). The seven coastal belts comprising a 58.5 km stretch of shore contained 39 CES transects that averaged about 1.5 km of shore length, but ranged from 0.8 km to 3.3 km in alongshore stretch. Dominant offshore, inshore, and onshore classificatory units included Rock (R), Beach (Be), and Cliff (Cl) catenas, which were followed inland by Wetland (W), Lake (Lk), Channel (Ch), and Upland (U) archetypical sequences. Delta (De) and Beach Ridge (Br) archetypes were noted as minor features in some cross-shore transects. Common trisequent DCS transects included R-Be-Cl and Be-Cl-U, which subsequently incorporated landward variations with Lagoon (L), Lake (Lk), and Wetland (W) archetypes. Results of this experiment showed that the BCCS comprehended how subpolar periglacial and paraglacial coastal belts dominantly comprised by glacial outwash have ground surface manifestations that are recognizable in satellite imagery by recurring spectral patterns. This cold tundra coastal region is thus largely characterized by rocky offshores and gravelly beaches backed by cliffs (composed of unconsolidated materials) and channeled wetland (peatland) hinterlands with coastal marine lakes and forested uplands. In accordance with the BCCS, this classification can be concised to CES subarchetype code sequences such as Rrr-Besi-Clse-Wmr-Chmd-Lkcm-Ufo. This study demonstrates that codification of cross-shore eco-geomorphological transects using the BCCS provides a shorthand notation for classifying coastal belts in high-latitude regions.

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