Beach Replenishment

Topics: Erosion, Beach, Coastal geography Pages: 7 (2295 words) Published: July 23, 2013
Beach Erosion on Long Beach Island and the Grand Strand
Earth 111

-------------------------------------------------
Abstract

Long Beach Island is a barrier island located approximately one mile off of the southern coast of New Jersey. The island in some areas is only a half-mile wide, with some areas, which are even narrower. Therefore, coastal erosion and flooding are both major concerns for the residents. Most of the island’s eighteen miles of beaches have experienced significant damage from erosion in recent decades. The damage is not only threatening the multimillion dollar homes in the area, but others also believe that the island will eventually become one with the Atlantic Ocean. However, in 2005 the Army Corps of Engineers began work on a $75 million dollar project to build a dune the length of the island. To analyze the severity of beach erosion on Long Beach Island, the following report compares the conditions to the Grand Strand off the coast of South Carolina. Both areas are experiencing many negative factors, which are contributing to the deterioration of the sandy beaches. The conclusion points to the fact that however short-term beach replenishment may be; it is the most viable option to solve the current devastation of beach erosion.

-------------------------------------------------
Beach Erosion on Long Beach Island and the Grand Strand

-------------------------------------------------
Beach Erosion: a Rising Problem

The coastline is constantly changing due beach erosion, which is caused by a multitude of factors. Beaches are temporary features of land because sand is constantly removed and added to and from them. Except near tidal entrances, sand transport is controlled primarily by wind wave action, and by wind generated currents. Waves can move sand both onshore and offshore, and also in the alongshore direction. (Sorensen, pg. 2). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that between 80 and 90 percent of the sandy beaches along America’s coastlines have been eroding for decades. In the most basic terms, beaches erode because the supply of sand cannot keep up with the loss of sand to the sea. This depletion of sandy beaches is what defines beach erosion.

Climate Change
The main cause of beach erosion is climate change, which causes the sea level to rise. Significant rise in sea level accelerates beach erosion and can be the start to erosion in areas that were not predisposed to it. The leading cause of erosion from sea level rise is simply the fact that higher water level allows wave and current erosion processes to reach further up beaches and results in deposition on the near shore bottom (See Figure A). In addition, at higher sea level, waves can become closer to the shore before breaking, which increases erosion. The deeper water also decreases wave fraction, which increases the capacity for alongshore, transport. A rise in sea level can also be the cause of a change in the source sediments. This becomes problematic because it decreases river transport to the sea because the mouth is flooded. Climate change is a major factor of beach erosion because it not only causes sea levels to rise, but it also increases the severity and frequency of storms. America’s foremost beach expert Dr. Stephen Leatherman states, “While sea level rise sets the conditions for landward displacement of the shore, coastal storms supply the energy to do the ‘geologic work’ by moving the sand off and along the beach” (Scentific American). Figure A: Demonstrates how sea level rise causes beach erosion. Source: Google Images

-------------------------------------------------
Long Beach Island, New Jersey

Long Beach Island is a barrier island located approximately one mile off the southern coast of New Jersey. Most of the island is only a half-mile wide, however some areas are even narrower. Therefore, coastal erosion and flooding are both major concerns for the residents. Most of the...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Coastal Management Northern Beaches Sydney Collaroy to Dee Why Case Study The Geographical Processes and Human Impact (involving...
  • Beach Erosion Essay
  • Cronulla Beach Research Assignment Essay
  • Coastal Management Report: Collaroy Beach Essay
  • The Characteristics of a Sandy Shore at Pallarenda Beach, Townsville, Essay
  • ediment grain size and mineralogy distribution across beach profile, Mpenjati estuary, KZN Essay
  • Cronulla Beach Essay
  • Beach Erosion Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free