John D. Rohrbough, James E. Koehr, Warren C. Thompson


Casual observations over a period of years of a long sand beach in the southern end of Monterey Bay, California, suggested that the sand elevation, while varying noticeably from one time to another, does not display the well-defined seasonal alternation between build-up in the summer and erosion in the winter that is now widely recognized on the exposed beaches of California. Accordingly, a program was established to measure the beach-profile changes by means of serial observations and to attempt to relate the changes to wave, tide, and beach conditions prevailing during the observation period. The results of the study, covering nine months, are presented herein. In the course of the study it became evident that quite special conditions of sand, waves, and water circulation exist in the extreme southern end of Monterey Bay which make this small area a natural laboratory where beach profile changes as well as other nearshore phenomena may be investigated under quite simply defined conditions in nature. The characteristics of this beach will be described in some detail, partly because they are distinctive and therefore of more than usual interest, and partly because they are essential to understanding the causes of the profile changes observed.


shoreline profile; shoreline change

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