Documentation of the Impact of Hurricane Ivan on the Coastline of Bonaire (Netherlands Antilles)
Situated just north of the Venezuelan coast around 12° to 13° N, the Netherlands Antilles are normally well outside the hurricane belt. Nevertheless, some of these powerful storms sent waves and swell of significant size to these islands, strong enough for impacts on the coastal geomorphology. Hurricane Ivan of September 2004, with Saffir–Simpson category 5 and around 250 km/h sustained winds less than 150 km north of Bonaire, was the most recent and one of the strongest of these events in history. Waves along the rocky eastern coastline reached heights of >12 m. Our observations during the days of Hurricane Ivan on Bonaire Island include impacts on exposed and sheltered shorelines, transformation of beaches and cliffs, sediment movement on higher terraces, as well as boulder transport. The latter is important to distinguish storm wave-induced boulder movement from boulder movement by tsunami, which have affected Bonaire several times during the Younger Holocene.