Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Environmental Studies (MES)


Geography & Environmental Studies


Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Mary-Louise Byrne

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor

Second Advisor

Michael English

Advisor Role

Thesis Co-Supervisor


Sandbanks Provincial Park is located on the northern shore of eastern Lake Ontario approximately 150km east of Toronto. The park is located on the southwestern shore of Prince Edward County in Hallowell Township and the research site was located on the larger of the two baymouth barriers the park protects. The research into aeolian sediment transport was carried out over twelve months in 2003--2004 on the Wellington Baymouth barrier. Vegetated sand dunes are sensitive geomorphic systems and when the protective cover is damaged and removed, changes are inevitable. The study examined variations in the amount of sediment transport in different sub-environments on the baymouth barrier throughout the changing seasons. Data were gathered using aeolian sand traps, erosion pins and through GPS mapping, to create a baseline data set for the park as new interpretive trails are investigated for the future. The analysis of the climate data from Point Petre, the closest weather station to the park, indicated that the greatest potential for sand movement would occur in the autumn and winter. Environmental conditions during the study period however resulted in the greatest sediment movement occurring during the autumn and spring seasons. Erosion pin results from the various sub-environments revealed a high degree of variation in the movement of sand on a monthly basis but an overall pattern of erosion. The analysis of wind energy in the region also found that the greatest amount of sediment would be moving in a northeasterly direction under the dominant winds out of the west. Sediment capture rates by the sand trap arrays clearly indicated that the greatest amount of sediment was moving in a northeasterly direction. This conclusion also supported research by Law (1989) that stated the baymouth barrier is moving towards the northeast into the West Lake lagoon. The research at Sandbanks will provide a valuable baseline data set to measure future change against whether the change results from visitor impacts in the park, a new interpretive trail or climate change.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season