RECENT HISTORY OP EROSION AT CAROLINA BEACH, N C

Limberios Vallianos

Abstract


The reaction of shores adjacent to salient features which interrupt alongshore processes has long been recognized as an important consideration in connection with the investigation of engineering works to be undertaken on shores characterized by a littoral drift regimen Particular emphasis has been placed on the evaluation of shore changes related to major control structures at navigation entrances, however, manmade interruptions of small scope, which initially appear innocuous, can produce costly damage to the adjacent shores located on the downdrlft side of the interruption The town of Carolina Beach, a seaside resort on the Atlantic Ocean in southeastern North Carolina, is a classic example of an area experiencing inordinate and costly erosion associated with an initially small manmade interruption on the updrift shore In 1952, local boating interests excavated a channel through the updrift barrier beach to connect the Atlantic Ocean and a lagoonal area traversed by the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway The channel, located 8,000 feet north of the Carolina Beach town limits, soon developed into a small, permanent coastal inlet having a width of approximately 550 feet and a depth of 15 feet In the ensuing 17-year period, 1952-1969, this inlet entrapped over 4 million cubic yards of littoral material, resulting in a concomitant downdrift erosion which progressed southward to the town of Carolina Beach A protective beach fill placed along the town's ocean front in 1965 has suffered considerable erosion damage This paper develops and quantifies the cause and effect relationships of the problem generally in terms of the alongshore processes and, in so doing, also furnishes basic information in regard to the performance of the largescale artificial beach fill placed along the ocean front of Carolina Beach in 1965.

Keywords


coastal history; shore erosion; Carolina Beach

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