FACTORS CONTROLLING CHANGES TO AN OPEN COAST BEACH

William N. Seelig, Robert M. Sorensen

Abstract


A study of historical information and field measurements in Sargent Beach, Texas, reveal that the shoreline is retreating with historic rates increasing from -10 feet per year in the late 1800's to -31 feet per year (-9.8 m/year) in the early 1970's. The cause of this erosion is the lack of an adequate sand supply to the beach zone. This sand deficiency is due to: a) reduced updrift sand input to the coast by the Brazos River beginning in 1945 and caused by decreased sediment transport capability of the river, b) increased sand storage in the Brazos Delta encouraged by jetties and vegetation, and c) possible offshore losses of sand due to hurricane wave energy focusing on the Brazos Delta in conjunction with river jetting during peak river flows.

Keywords


open beach; open coast; controlling factor

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