Effect of Shell on Beach Performance: Examples from the West-Central Coast of Florida

by Richard A. Davis, Jr., Univ of South Florida, Tampa, United States,
Ronald F. Herrygers, Univ of South Florida, Tampa, United States,
Robert C. Hogue, Univ of South Florida, Tampa, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Zone '91


Time-series analysis of beach profiles and sediment analysis along the Pinellas County coast of Florida over a 2-yr. period shows that shell abundance has an influence on beach performance. Locations included in the study include both natural and nourished sites with mean shell gravel content ranging up to 37% in natural beaches and averaging about 20% in nourished sites. Overall shell content (sand and gravel) typically averages 30-40% in nourished beaches. Natural beaches with high shell gravel content eroded more rapidly than their nourished counterparts. Part of this may be due to shoreline orientation and incident wave energy, but part is also likely to be the result of well-packed and, therefore, resistant nourishment material. The long-term effects of the high shell content are yet to be determined.

Subject Headings: Beach profiles | Beach protection and nourishment | Coastal management | Gravels | Data analysis | Time series analysis | Shoreline protection | Coastal processes | Florida | United States

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