A Study of the Stability of the Elms Cliffs on the Chesapeake Bay

by Michael E. McCormick, Department of Civil Engineering, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21218, United States,
David R. B. Kraemer, Department of Civil Engineering, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21218, United States,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Sand Rights '99: Bringing Back the Beaches

Abstract: The Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries form one of the most prized natural treasures of the United States. Although parts of the Bay's shoreline have been subjected to pollution, overdevelopment and other problems, the Bay appears to be thriving. One problem that is more subtle than the others is that of shoreline erosion. The stated annual shoreline retreat rate for the Bay is approximately 0.3 meter per year. Some parts of the shoreline, however, exceed this rate by an order of magnitude. Two such shorelines are those of the north-shore of the Elms property and the shore just downdrift from the Elms (on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay). Survey results and photographs obtained during a 1995 study of the shoreline indicated serious erosion of both the north-shore and downcoast cliffs. The erosion mechanisms in both areas are similar to those of other Bay cliffs. The purpose of this paper is to present photographic evidence of continued cliff erosion and to recommend a remedial course of action. Photographs taken during the 1995 study and during a 1999 study are presented and compared.

Subject Headings: Bays | Cliffs | Shoreline | Erosion | Photography | Coastal management | Remediation | Chesapeake Bay region | North America | United States

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