K.J. MacIntosh, C.D. Anglin


High water levels on Lake Michigan during 1985 and 1986 created substantial erosion of the shoreline and reduced the size and recreational potential of many of the parks and beaches. To prevent further erosion, protect existing properties and structures, and to create and improve recreational areas along the Lake Michigan shoreline, four coastal engineering projects were designed and constructed during this time. Artificial beach units stabilized by offshore breakwaters were used as the main component of each project. Physical hydraulic model studies were used to determine the orientation, size, and spacing of breakwaters and artificial beach units. Model predictions of beach profiles and plan shapes compare closely with prototype surveys. Surveys completed since construction demonstrate the stability of the beaches and support their use as effective, low maintenance shoreline protection. Prototype experience has shown that these projects are extremely successful both in their ability to withstand storms on the Great Lakes and to attract people for recreational activities.


Lake Michigan; artificial beach; beach unit

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