Mid-El Nino erosion at nourished and unnourished Southern California beaches

TitleMid-El Nino erosion at nourished and unnourished Southern California beaches
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsLudka B.C, Gallien T.W, Crosby S.C, Guza RT
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Date Published2016/05
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0094-8276
Accession NumberWOS:000378339200052
Keywordscoastal sea-level; equilibrium; evolution; oscillation; pacific coast; profile; project; replenishment; sand engine; surf zones

Wave conditions in Southern California during the 2015-2016 El Nino were similar to the 2009-2010 El Nino, previously the most erosive (minimum beach widths and subaerial sand levels) in a 7 year record. As of February 2016, Torrey Pines Beach had eroded slightly below 2009-2010 levels, threatening the shoulder of a major highway. However, Cardiff, Solana, and Imperial Beaches, nourished with imported sand in 2012, were on average 1-2 m more elevated and more than 10 m wider than in 2009-2010. Monthly subaerial sand elevation observations showed that the nourished beaches remained consistently wider than unnourished beaches under similar wave conditions. In contrast to a 2001 nourishment at Torrey Pines built with native sized sand that was removed from the beach face during a single storm, these relatively coarse grained nourishments protected shorelines for several years, and during the significant wave attack of the 2015-2016 El Nino, as of February 2016.

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