The Interaction of Seawalls and Beaches: Four Years of Field Monitoring, Monterey Bay, California

by Gary B. Griggs, Univ of California, Santa Cruz, United States,
James F. Tait, Univ of California, Santa Cruz, United States,
Katherine Scott, Univ of California, Santa Cruz, United States,
Nathaniel Plant, Univ of California, Santa Cruz, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Sediments


Coastal protection structures have historically been the most common approach to dealing with the problem of shoreline erosion in the United States. Three potential impacts of these structures have been identified and include: (1) impoundment or placement loss, (2) passive erosion, and (3) active erosion. The first two are relatively straight-forward and predictable for the most part, whereas the third has been the subject of considerable discussion and debate, but until recently, has not been systematically investigated in the field. Four years of monitoring beaches adjacent to seawalls along the central California coast have allowed us to document the seasonal beach changes which take place in response to the presence of seawalls, and also evaluate some of the physical processes which influence these changes. Although active erosion has been documented at seawalls in this study, this has been seasonal and temporary in nature to date, and recoverable.

Subject Headings: Sea walls | Beaches | Bays | Coastal processes | Field tests | Protective structures | Shoreline | Coastal management | California | United States

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