OFFSET COASTAL INLETS

Miles O. Hayes, Victor Goldsmith, Carl H. Hobbs

Abstract


Offset coastal inlets are common on the coasts of New England and the northern Gulf of Alaska In both areas, the dominant waves approach the shore at an oblique angle, resulting in a strong net littoral drift The most common type of offset on these coasts is a downdnft offset (l e , the downdnft side of the inlet protrudes further seaward than the updnft side) Wave refraction around the ebb-tidal deltas at the inlets is an important process in the formation of the downdnft offsets, inasmuch as it creates a local reversal in drift direction just downdnft of the inlet, and allows sediment to accumulate there Associated with the offset appears to be a segregation of tidal current flow in the inlets, with the ebb flow being more channelized than the flood The type of inlet offset at any one location can vary through time Studies of the changes at the Hampton Harbor, New Hampshire, inlet from 1776 to the present show two reversals from updnft to downdnft offsets during that interval.

Keywords


inlet; offset inlets

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