Willard N. Bascom


The subject of beach characteristics is a complex one which is obviously worthy of book-length treatment. The object of this paper is to describe briefly the shapes which groups of beach-forming particles take and the mechanisms by which the forces of nature have so arranged them. Using these reactions as criteria, the coastal engineer who is confronted with the problem of replenishing beach materials or of altering some existing sand flow with a shoreline structure will be able to understand (and predict) the rapid readjustment of the particles to their new environment. There are, of course, no unnatural beaches; the implication is that artificially created or nourished beaches and otherwise altered shorelines will respond in the same manner as those untouched beaches which were studied to assemble the information presented here.


beach morphology; sediment transport; beach dynamics

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