Cyclic and seasonal beach response: A comparison of oceanside and bayside beaches

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This study compares the cyclic and seasonal geomorphic responses of oceanside and bayside beaches on Sandy Hook Spit, New Jersey. It was hypothesized that the different nature of onshore wind regimes at bayside and oceanside beaches would cause different types of beach change. On the east-facing ocean shoreline, rates of beach change are related to weather patterns associated with the passage of mid-latitude cyclonic storms. Bayside beach change is related to the influence of the prevailing westerlies. Storm erosion and post-storm deposition is more rapid on oceanside beaches. Swell waves occurring between storms rapidly reinstate pre-storm equilibrium conditions. Lower bay-side wave energies occurring between storms have little effect on profile development, and foreshore slopes inherited from previous storms undergo little change. Bayside beaches therefore appear to be more in equilibrium with storm conditions than oceanside beaches. Changes in foreshore slope, beach volume, and beach position associated with individual storm events are compared to seasonal trends to test the applicability of the Hayes cyclic model of beach development to both oceanside and bayside beaches. There is evidence of a cyclic trend of develop-ment on the more exposed ocean sites and seasonal development on the more sheltered bayside sites, which suggests that cyclic development may be causally related to the difference among the energy levels of the storm and nonstorm wave regimes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-196
Number of pages20
JournalPhysical Geography
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1980

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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