BEACH CYCLES IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA.
CORPS OF ENGINEERS WASHINGTON D C BEACH EROSION BOARD
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The large waves accompanying winter storms cause a widespread denudation of southern California beaches. During the summer period of small waves the sand is brought back, completing an annual cycle. The beach berms vary in width with the seasonal changes so that in general they are widest at the end of summer and narrowest at the end of winter. Variation in berm width is related also to the spring and neap tides, the berms being widest during neap tides and narrowest during spring tides. The cutting back of the berms often results in scarp formation at the top of the foreshore, the scarps being most commonly developed in the fall during the first period of large waves following the small waves of summer. In addition to offshore-onshore movements of sand there are also important lateral shifts. The sand is shifted along the beach in the direction in which the waves are approaching. As a result of this lateral shift the northwest storms of winter cause the southern ends of some beaches to grow during the winter, and the southerly approach during the summer moves the sand north and therefore produces a cut.
- Physical and Dynamic Oceanography
- Civil Engineering