Terefenko, P.; Giza, A.; Paprotny, D., and Walczakiewicz, Sz., 2020. Characteristic of winter storm Xavier and its impacts on coastal morphology: Results of a case study on the polish coast. In: Malvárez, G. and Navas, F. (eds.), Global Coastal Issues of 2020. Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue No. 95, pp. 684-688. Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208.
Winter storms are an important factor affecting the Polish coast. Short-term water-level variations caused by winter storms significantly alter the coast in the non-tidal Baltic Sea, where extreme water levels depend on the volume of water flowing in from the North Sea. If the Baltic does not have the time to “fill in,” high wind speeds and wave heights are insufficient to cause major damage. Although this phenomenon has been widely discussed in literature, no studies focused on western Poland have comprehensively documented the evolution of both the foreshore and nearshore coastal profile. This paper describes the meteorological and hydrological conditions of the severe storm Xavier, which traversed the Polish coast from December 5–7, 2013, as well as its impacts on the bathymetric and topographic profile of the coast along the pier in Międzyzdroje. Shoreline changes caused by the Xavier storm are compared with the effects of smaller events that occurred in 2014. The results show that winter storm Xavier completely rebuilt the profile of the coast. The foreshore was eroded and beach elevation was reduced by an average of 0.5 m. Accumulation was observed in the vicinity of the water line down to a depth of 1 m. Furthermore, erosion processes dominated in the nearshore section with an average value of 0.27 m and a maximum of 0.62 m, with a small exception at a depth of 2 m. Although the erosion rates caused by Xavier were significant, in some sections they were comparable to the effects of shorter and weaker storms that occurred in the area both before and after Xavier.