Encyclopedia of Coastal Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Charles W. Finkl, Christopher Makowski


  • Ervin G. OtvosEmail author
Living reference work entry

Later version available View entry history

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-48657-4_67-4

Definition and Morphology

Cheniers are relict wave-built coastal plain landforms that occur in sets inland from the shoreline where they originally formed along an active beach as littoral ridges. They are sheltered from daily wave and tidal processes and generally consist of sand, sandy shell, and occasionally sandy gravel. Chenier ridge sequences may develop on prograding deltas or non-deltaic coastal plains. Cheniers form subparallel sets of elongated, narrow ridges (typically up to 3 m high and 40–400 m wide), usually rising slightly above the highest high-tide level. Wave action and storm overwash build the original littoral ridges. The term chenier (Russell and Howe 1935) originated in the French native word (chêne) for the majestic evergreen “live oak” tree (Quercus virginiana) that lines chenier ridges of southwest Louisiana. Cheniers differ from beach ridge sets (q.v.) by the presence of intervening, parallel, low, and level surfaces that represent predominant portion of...

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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Coastal SciencesUniversity of Southern MississippiOcean SpringsUSA