Bayside beach dynamics: Implications for simulation modeling on eroding sheltered tidal beaches

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The purpose of this paper is to compare the differences between oceanside and bayside beaches. Field data on twelve beach process and response variables were gathered from February 1972 to April 1973 on four sample beaches at Sandy Hook Spit, New Jersey. Linear correlation is used to identify the most influential process variables and determine how the interrelationships among variables differ on each beach. The analysis confirms the importance of breaker height, wave steepness and wind direction on beach response. The correlation of beach processes with their associated responses are higher on the oceanside than on the bayside beaches, indicating that local, non-storm waves may be relatively insignificant in effecting substantial beach modification. Despite the greater magnitude of processes and beach change on the oceanside sites, erosion was more persistent on the bayside during the period of study. The frequent occurrence of short, steep erosional waves on the bayside prevented onshore movement of sediment between storms, resulting in a permanent loss of material from the beach face and dune. On the oceanside, long, low, depositional waves occurring between storms replenished most of the material carried away during the storm. This fresh beach material acted as a buffer against the erosion of the dunes during the following storm. The dominant bay waves are locally generated and may therefore be simulated using meteorological variables. However, the low wave energies on the bayside sites result in an increase in the relative importance of tidal currents, wind-induced currents, and refracted ocean swell. These factors complicate the application of simplified wave process-beach response models to the study of beaches exposed to these effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)333-342
Number of pages10
JournalMarine Geology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1977

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oceanography
  • Geology
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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