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Focused Study on Spatial and Temporal Changes in Beach Elevation and Sand Distribution for

The Wedge
Jamie Hayward
Geology 381: Data Collection and Analysis for Earth Scientist
December 15, 2016

Abstract
The Wedge, a beach located on the Balboa Peninsula in the City of Newport Beach, CA,
was surveyed to observe changes in beach elevation and sand distribution over the course of
three months. The study area contains a 580m jetty and is heavily urbanized. I hypothesized that
the biggest changes in beach elevation would be next to the jetty, and that the best sorted and
least coarse sand grains would be at the waterline. Four transects over a length of ~525m, spaced
~150-200m apart, ~45m to 55m long were measured for changes in beach elevation. Three sand
samples were taken from each transect for a total of twelve samples each survey to observe grain
size and sorting. The transect with the biggest change for each survey was transect 1, transect 1,
and transect 2 respectively for survey 1, 2, and 3. The elevation changes were greatest near the
jetty, as anticipated. The beach overall changed the greatest in elevation between September and
October. This correlates with the high wave activities that happened during the same period. The
sand samples at the waterline consistently had the best sorting and smallest mean size, as
anticipated.

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1.0 Introduction

The Wedge, a beach in southern California, is a popular destination for surfers, boogie
boarders, and body boarders alike. It is characterized by a long jetty that creates tall waves
during high wave events. The beach itself looks physically different near the jetty from an aerial
view. The waterline is straight all the way up to the last ~150m where it has a concave shape,
showing, that part of the beach is more heavily eroded. Preliminary research revealed that very
few studies had been done to see if there are any correlations between beach erosion and jetties.
The wedge is a semi-wide beach ~ 50m to 90m in width, with a variable amount of sand. The
upper part of beach, starting about 30m back from the waterline experiences very little wave
action. Sand size and sorting can be variable on any part of the beach. There are very few sources
of literature on the study area itself, so information about mean sand size and sand sorting are
unknown.
The goals of the survey are to: (1) measure elevation changes across the beach; (2)
determine if the jetty affects beach erosion; (3) determine what part of the beach has the smallest
mean sand size and best sand sorting; and (4) investigate what may be affecting beach erosion,
mean sand size, and sand sorting through external data. It is anticipated that the jetty will cause
greater erosion to the beach next to it over any other part of the beach, and that the waterline will
have the smallest mean size and best sorting likely due to wave activities.
2.0 Background
2.1General Background
Southern Californias coastal geologic setting is the result of millions of years of plate
tectonic movements. Today it lays amidst two tectonic plates, the Pacific plate and the North
American plate, that form a transform boundary. The boundary is a right-lateral strike-slip fault
where the two plates slide past each other. The Pacific plate is moving to the right with the
perspective of standing on the North American plate. Southern Californias beaches lie on the
Pacific plate, and the formation of Southern Californias coast is mainly the result of tectonic
processes that cause uplift of the coast in addition to rising sea level (Higgins et al., 2004).
Coastlines are divided into compartments called littoral cells. Each cell starts with a
rocky headland and ends with a submarine canyon. In these compartments sediments that are
eroded from the headlands travel by longshore drift encountering other sources of sediments and
sinks till it reaches the end of the littoral cell. (Carlin, 2016) Longshore drift is the offshore flow
of sediments parallel to the coasts, the transport can be up shore or down shore. Sources of
sediments can include rivers, debris basins, channelized streams, and beach nourishment (Carlin,
2016). San sinks include submarine canyons, subsidence, offshore losses, Aeolian inland
deposits, estuaries, and harbors (Carlin, 2016).
Waves are the greatest source of erosion for coastal environments. They consistently
break ashore swashing and swirling the sediments causing them to move and cliffs to erode.
Wave generation is the result of winds moving atop the water (Hess, 2013). Depending on the
strength of the wind, wave heights vary and the direction they hit the shore can change. Wave
height can also be affected by the tides, which are a pattern of the rise (high tide) and fall (low
tide) of water height on the beach. The tides in Southern California are influenced by the sun and

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moon, they change four times a day, every six hours, rotating between high and low (Hess,
2013).
Weather and Climate can affect the coast primarily through storms such as during El
Nino events, where the coast may experience either erosion or deposition. Storms that develop in
the ocean and move towards the mainland can generate larger waves which in turn cause
offshore sediment to move toward the beach. However, waves may also erode sand sending it
back offshore. The same storm can move over the mainland causing erosion to nearby
mountains, allowing sediment to be transported through rivers out to the coast where the
sediment is deposited.
The beach itself has a unique profile with different sediment sizes on different parts of
the beach. It can be split into three separate sections. The backshore, where the berm lies, is the
furthest section from the water. It only becomes wet during precipitation events. The foreshore is
the middle zone, where the high tide reaches daily. The nearshore is where the waves crash and it
experiences all changes in tides (Hess, 2013). In general, you would expect to see the biggest
grain size at the backshore, and the smallest at the nearshore due to wave processes that facilitate
sorting of grain sizes.
The differences in wave energy from summer (low energy) to winter (high energy)
causes seasonal changes in beach height. During summer the sand accumulates on shore creating
a higher berm, whereas during winter the waves cause erosion creating offshore bars (Yates et
al., 2009). Sources of sediment for the southern California coastal area come from three separate
watershed discharges, The Los Angeles, San Gabriel, and the Santa Ana rivers (Ahn and Grant,
2007). Due to longshore transport near the beach, the sand moves down the coast causing up drift
beaches to become smaller when river sediment supply is low. This is where beach nourishment
comes into play, as it is a large source of sediment for Southern California beaches. Beach
nourishment/replenishment involves bringing in separate sources of sediment to be deposited
along the beach front, extending the length of the beach profile (Higgins et al., 2004). There have
been projects in Santa Barbara, Santa Monica Bay, Orange County, and San Diego County
throughout the last 100 years (Higgins et al., 2004).
2.2 Study Area Background
The study area beach, known as The Wedge shown in Figure 1A, is a public
beach located on the Balboa Peninsula in The City of Newport Beach, CA. The area surrounding
the beach is densely urbanized by residential houses with a population of ~87,000. A 580m jetty
forms a boundary and the entrance into the Newport Harbor.
Swells that come from the southern hemisphere hit the nearly vertical jetty, and are
reflected, joining the next wave in the set resulting in a wave double in size (up to 8 meters) with
a wedge shape (Thurman & Trujillo, 2014). The wedge-shaped waves and the steep beach profile
of the study area contribute to another unique feature known as surging breaker, where waves
break on shore due to abrupt ocean bottom depth change (Thurman & Trujillo, 2014). Further the
wave is reflected off the beach and results in a backwash wave that joins the incoming swell and
can create a barrel shape or enclosure.
The Wedge marks the end of the San Pedro Littoral Cell. Immediately west offshore is
the Newport Submarine Canyon that functions as a sink for sediments. The buoy located closets

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to the study area (213 San Pedro South, CA) has recorded a daily average wave height of ~1m,
with a maximum average wave height in excess of 4m sometimes 5m (Min Max Mean Buoy 213
Data). The average tidal range as measured by the Newport Bay entrance station is ~ 1m (NOAA
tides & currents). The Wedges sources of sand can include sediment eroded from the cliffs of
the Palos Verdes Peninsula and discharge from the Los Angeles, San Gabriel, and Santa Ana
rivers upstream (Figure 1B).

A N

B N

Figure 1. Map of study area at The Wedge, Newport Beach, Ca. Map A shows the location of study area transects
(green lines) and the location of sand samples (blue push pins). Map B shows study area with larger regional
location. Blue lines show local rivers and red lines mark the boundary of watershed.

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3.0 Methods
3.1 Survey Design
The study area was chosen using google earth, where the total length of the study area
was ~525 m. Four transects spaced ~ 150-200 m apart were located across the study area. It was
designed as such to maximize coverage near the jetty where the greatest change was anticipated.
The transects were measured perpendicular to the water line with lengths ranging from ~ 45 m to
55 m. The starting points were strategically picked at locations of permeant structures so that
they could be easily found each time a survey was taken. The four starting points were a light
pole, an electric pole attached to a life guard tower, and two concrete walkways respectively.
Surveys were taken over the course of two months on three separate dates: September 9th,
October 7th, and November 4th.
3.2 Data Collection
Measurements of beach height were taken every two meters along each transect. The
material used to perform the measurements were two, six-foot-long wooden poles, a 10m-long
rope with black tape that marked 2 m intervals, a level that attached to the rope, and a measuring
tape. The rope was strung up between the two poles and leveled out at starting height of ~ 10-30
cm above the sand level. Pole A was placed at the start of each transect at 0 m, and pole B at 10
m. Once measurements were taken for the first 10 m, pole A would move towards the water line
while pole B would remain stationary, switching back and forth till all measurements were
complete. In some cases, the rope had to be offset and adjusted down because the change in
beach height was greater than the height of the poles. When that occurred, an appropriate offset
adjustment was recorded. The stopping points of each transect was based on where the tide
height began on the first survey, therefore each transect in subsequent survey would be equal in
length. For the sake of consistency while measuring, GPS coordinates were taken at every 10 m
and at the end-point of each transect, to be used for each survey.
A total of thirty-six sand samples were taken, twelve during each survey, three per
transect. One sand sample was taken at the starting point of each transect. Another was taken at
thirty meters along each transect, which is approximately the middle. The last was taken at the
end of each transect. These three points were chosen to get a better idea of what the sand
distribution is over the entire width of the beach rather than just at the ocean line. The amount of
sand collected was ~ 50-150 g per sample.
3.3 Data Analysis
Once the data collection had been completed, the raw data was converted to relative
elevations. To obtain the correct elevations the offsets were added back and the data was
changed so that the starting point of the transects were 0. Since the measurement were taken in
centimeters it was at this point they were changed to meters.
The sand samples were thoroughly washed in lab with a 63m sieve size and dried in an
oven. It was important to wash the grains before sieving to not skew the weight of the samples.
Then each sample was placed individually in a stack of sieves and put into a Ro-Tap Machine for
fifteen minutes to give it a chance to separate. The sieve sizes included 2000m, 850m, 500m,
210m, 125m, 75m, 63m, and a pan to catch all remaining grains. After fifteen minutes,
each sieve was emptied, measured by weight and recorded. Once the samples were complete, the

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data from each sieve was combined to determine size distribution. The mean size and standard
deviation (sorting) were determined by using the size distribution data.
4.0 Results
Table 1. Survey 1 Sand Sample Summary
Transect Sand Sample Location Mean size Standard Deviation
1A 33' 35.674 N 117' 52.907 W 518.50 275.40
1 1B 33' 35.659 N 117' 52.904 W 584.40 329.70
1C 33' 35.647 N 117' 52.907 W 467.90 207.90
1D 33' 35.684 N 117' 53.006 W 586.50 352.40
2 1E 33' 35.669 N 117' 53.009 W 586.20 332.40
1F 33' 35.661 N 117' 53.011 W 436.90 173.00
1G 33' 35.705 N 117' 53.100 W 645.10 360.10
3 1H 33' 35.691 N 117' 53.105 W 679.30 373.20
1I 33' 35.681 N 117'53.109 W 464.10 209.90
1J 33' 35.745 N 117' 53.223 W 594.10 346.70
4 1K 33' 35.731 N 117' 53.229 W 782.90 391.10
1L 33' 35.717 N 117' 53.235 W 496.20 246.70

Table 1. Survey 1 Sand Sample Summary. The table shows the mean size and sorting.

A 1
Transect 1, Sept. 9th B 1
Transect 2, Sept. 9th
Elevation (m)

0 0
Elevation (m)

-1 -1
-2 -2
-3 -3
0 20 40 60 0 20 40 60
Distance (m) Distance (m)
D
C 1
Transect 3, Sept. 9th
1
Transect 4, Sept. 9th

0
Elevation (m)

0
Elevation (m)

-1 -1
-2 -2
-3 -3
0 20 40 60 0 20 40 60
Distance (m) Distance (m)

Figure 2. Survey 1 graphs of transect profile elevation changes.


4.1 Survey 1
4.1.1 Transect 1
Elevation Data

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The total length of the transect was 50m. The total elevation change was 2.66m (Figure
2A). The highest elevation was the starting point at zero, the lowest point was the last
measurement -2.66m at the end of the transect. The first 30m had a mostly consistent decline in
elevation, with a slight increase at 32m-36m, the remaining transect had a steep decrease in
elevation, ~1m.
Sand Data
The mean size of the sand was not consistent (Table 1); it was 518.50 m at the start of
the transect followed by 584.40m and 467.90m at the water. The sand was finest at the water
compared to the back of the beach. The sand sorting was not consistent either, the samples
standard deviation was 275.40m at the start of the transect, 329.70m in the middle, and the
lowest 207.90m at water level. Overall the sample was finest and best sorted at the water line.
4.1.2 Transect 2
Elevation Data
The total length of the transect was 44m. The total elevation change was 1.86m (Figure
2B). The highest elevation was 0.4m above the starting height, the lowest was the last
measurement -1.86m at the end of the transect. The first 24m had a slight incline in elevation, but
this was followed by a steep decline.
Sand Data
The mean size of the sand as seen in Table 1 was very close in the first and second
samples with 586.50m and 586.20m respectively. The sample near the water had a mean size
of 436.90m. The sand sorting was close for the first two samples with a standard deviation of
352.40m and 332.40m respectively but significantly lower for the sample near the water,
173.00m. Like the first transect the sample near the water line had the finest grains and best
sorting.
4.1.3 Transect 3
Elevation Data
The total length of the transect was 50m. The total elevation change was 1.39m (Figure
2C). The highest elevation was 0.39m above the starting height, the lowest was the last
measurement -1.39m at the end of transect. The first 34m fluctuated in elevation, along the
remaining transect elevation declined steeply.
Sand Data
The mean size of the sand (Table 1) was closer together at the beginning and middle with
645.10m and 679.30m respectively. The sample near the water had a mean size of 464.10m.
The standard deviation was again closer together for the first and second samples with
360.10m, and 373.20m respectively. The sample closest to the water had a standard deviation
much smaller at 209.90m. Again, the sample closest to the water was the finest and best sorted.
4.1.4 Transect 4
Elevation Data

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The total length of the transect was 56m. The total elevation change was 1.15m (Figure
2D). The highest elevation was 0.13m. The lowest elevation was the last measurement -1.15 m at
the end of the transect. Elevations were variable, but declined rapidly after 36m along transect.
Sand Data
The mean size of the sand (Table 1) was more varied in this transect with 594.10m at
the starting point, 782.90m at 30m, and 496.20m at the water. The standard deviation was
once again closer together with the first and middle sample at 346.70m and 391.10m
respectively. The sample closest to the water had a standard deviation of 246.70m showing that
the sample closest to the water was finer and best sorted.

4.2 Survey 2

Table 2. Survey 2 Sand Sample Summary


Transect Sand Sample Location Mean size Standard Deviation
2A 33' 35.674 N 117' 52.907 W 565.1 296.7
1 2B 33' 35.659 N 117' 52.904 W 643.4 372.2
2C 33' 35.647 N 117' 52.907 W 455.9 219.2
2D 33' 35.684 N 117' 53.006 W 595 355.4
2 2E 33' 35.669 N 117' 53.009 W N/A N/A
2F 33' 35.661 N 117' 53.011 W 465 205.8
2G 33' 35.705 N 117' 53.100 W 611.6 359
3 2H 33' 35.691 N 117' 53.105 W 557.8 308.6
2I 33' 35.681 N 117'53.109 W 436.3 203.9
2J 33' 35.745 N 117' 53.223 W 600.3 158.8
4 2K 33' 35.731 N 117' 53.229 W 705.7 389.7
2L 33' 35.717 N 117' 53.235 W 456 208.32

Table 2. Survey 2 Sand Sample Summary. Table shows mean size and sorting.

A 1
Transect 1, Oct. 7th B 1
Transect 2, Oct. 7th
Elevation (m)

0
Elevation (m)

-1 -1

-2 -2

-3 -3
0 20 40 60 0 20 40 60
Distance (m) Distance (m)

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C 1
Transect 3, Oct. 7th D 1 Transect 4, Oct. 7th
Elevation (m)

Elevation (m)
0 0

-1 -1

-2 -2
0 20 40 60 0 20 40 60
Distance (m) Distance (m)

Figure 3. Survey 2 graphs of transect profile elevation changes.

4.2.1 Transect 1
Elevation Data
The total length of the transect was 50m. The total elevation change was 2.46m (Figure
3A). The highest elevation was zero at the start of the transect. The lowest elevation was the last
measurement -2.46m at the end of the transect. The first 32m had a slight decline in elevation,
while the remainder of the transect had a steep decline in elevation.
Sand Data
The mean size of the sand (Table 2) was 565.1m, 643.4m, and 455.9m respectively.
The standard deviation was 296.7m, 372.2m, and 219.2m respectively. These results show
that the sample taken closet to the waterline had the finest grains and best sorting.
4.2.2 Transect 2
Elevation Data
The total length of the transect was 44m. The total elevation change was 2.29m (Figure
3B). The highest elevation was 0.28m, the lowest was the last measurement -2.29m at the end of
transect. The first 26m fluctuated in an incline and decline in elevation. The remainder of the
transect had a steep decline in elevation.
Sand Data
The sand data was lost for the 30m sample in a lab accident. The mean size of the sand
(Table 2) for the other two samples were 595m at the start and 465m at the end of the transect.
The standard deviation was 355.4m at the start and 205.8m at the end of the transect. The
waterline again had the finest sand and the best sorting.
4.2.3 Transect 3
Elevation Data
The total length of the transect was 50m. The total elevation change was 1.79m (Figure
3C). The highest elevation was 0.32m, the lowest was the last measurement -1.79m at the end of
the transect. The first 40m of the transect fluctuated in an incline and decline in elevation. The
remainder of the transect had a steep decline in elevation.

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Sand Data
The mean size of the sand (Table 2) was 611.6m, 557.8m, and 436.3m. The standard
deviation was 359m, 308.6m, and 203.9m respectively. These results show the waterline had
the finest sand and best sorting.
4.2.4 Transect 4
Elevation Data
The total length of the transect was 56m. The total elevation change was 1.25m (Figure 3D). The
highest elevation was 0.26m, the lowest was the last measurement -1.25m at the end of the
transect. The first 44m of the transect fluctuated in an incline and decline in elevation. The
remainder of the transect had a steep decline in elevation.
Sand Data
The mean size of the sand (Table 2) was 600.3m, 705.7m, and 456m respectively. The
standard deviation was 158.8m, 389.7m, and 208.32m respectively. The waterline sample
had the finest sand, however the first sample had the best sorting.

4.3 Survey 3

Table 3. Survey 3 Sand Sample Summary


Transect Sand Sample Location Mean size Standard Deviation
3A 33' 35.674 N 117' 52.907 W 527.3 255.8
1 3B 33' 35.659 N 117' 52.904 W 613.1 355.9
3C 33' 35.647 N 117' 52.907 W 492.1 226.3
3D 33' 35.684 N 117' 53.006 W 590.7 358.7
2 3E 33' 35.669 N 117' 53.009 W 543.4 291.7
3F 33' 35.661 N 117' 53.011 W 437.8 190.2
3G 33' 35.705 N 117'53.100 W 646.9 360.4
3 3H 33' 35.691 N 117' 53.105 W 675.6 386.2
3I 33' 35.681 N 117'53.109 W 528.3 262.3
3J 33' 35.745 N 117' 53.223 W 601.3 363.7
4 3K 33' 35.731 N 117' 53.229 W 698.1 408.8
3L 33' 35.717 N 117' 53.235 W 635.2 357.4

Table 3. Survey 3 Sand Sample Summary. This table shows mean size and sorting.

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A Transect 1, Nov. 4th B Transect 2, Nov. 4th
1 1

Elevation (m)
0
Elevation (m)

-1 -1

-2 -2

-3 -3
0 20 40 60 0 20 40 60
Distance (m) Distance (m)

C Transect 3, Nov. 4th D Transect 4, Nov. 4th


1 1

Elevation (m)
Elevation (m)

0 0

-1 -1

-2 -2
0 20 40 60 0 20 40 60
Distance (m) Distance (m)

Figure 4. Survey 3 graphs of transect profile elevation changes.

4.3.1 Transect 1
Elevation Data
The total length of the transect was 50m. The total elevation change was 1.9m (Figure 4A). The
highest elevation was zero at the start of the transect, the lowest was the last measurement -1.9m
at the end of the transect. The first 30m of the transect had and slight decline in elevation,
followed by a steeper decline in elevation.
Sand Data
The mean size of the sand (Table 3) was 527.3m, 613.1m, and 492.1m respectively. The
standard deviation was 255.8m, 355.9m, and 226.3m respectively. The sample at the
waterline had the finest grains and the best sorting.
4.3.2 Transect 2
Elevation Data
The total length of the transect was 44m. The total elevation change was 1.91m (Figure 4B). The
highest elevation was 0.26m, the lowest was the last measurement -1.91m at the end of the
transect. The first 28m fluctuated in an incline and decline in elevation. The remainder of the
transect had a steep decline in elevation.

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Sand Data
The mean size of the sand (Table 3) was 590.7m, 543.4m, and 437.8m respectively. The
standard deviation was 358.7m, 291.7m, and 190.2m respectively. The sample at the
waterline had the finest grains and the best sorting.
4.3.3 Transect 3
Elevation Data
The total length of the transect was 50m. The total elevation change was 1.49m (Figure 4C). The
highest elevation was 0.28m, the lowest was the last measurement -1.49m at the end of the
transect. The first 40m fluctuated in an incline and decline in elevation. The remainder of the
transect had a steep decline in elevation.
Sand Data
The mean size of the sand (Table 3) was 646.9m, 675.6m, and 528.3m respectively. The
standard deviation was 360.4m, 386.2m, and 262.3m respectively. The sample at the
waterline had the finest grains and the best sorting.
4.3.4 Transect 4
Elevation Data
The total length of the transect was 56m. The total elevation change was 1.25m (Figure 4D). The
highest elevation was 0.16m, the lowest was the last measurement -1.25m at the end of the
transect. The first 50m of the transect fluctuated in an incline and decline in elevation. The last
6m had a steep decline in elevation.
Sand Data
The mean size of the sand (Table 3) was 601.3m, 698.1m, and 635.2m respectively. The
standard deviation was 363.7m, 408.8m, and 357.4m respectively. The sample at the back of
the beach had the finest grains, whereas the sample at the waterline had the best sorting.

5.0 Discussion

Transect 1 Transect 2
1
1
Elevation (m)

0 0
Elevation (m)

-1 -1

-2
-2
-3
-3 0 10 20 30 40 50
0 10 20 30 40 50 60
Distance (m) Distance (m)
September October November September October November

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Transect 3 Transect 4
1 1
Elevation (m)

Elevation (m)
0 0

-1 -1

-2 -2
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 0 10 20 30 40 50 60
Distance (m) Distance (m)
September October November September October November

Figure 5. Graphs show the collective beach elevation height in the months September, October, and
November for each of the transects.

5.1 Temporal and Spatial Changes in Beach Elevation


Temporal changes and trends can be seen throughout all transect (Figure 5). The first 30m of
each transect were relatively unchanged throughout the duration of the survey. Its after 30m
where we see steepening of the shoreline, presumably because this section of the beach receives
the wave action. Beach elevations deceased between September and October, but increased
between October and November for all transects. Octobers beach profile in transect 1 had a
much steeper slope after the 34m measurement suggesting some event caused that erosion.
Figures 6A and 6B show wave data throughout the study period. The data shows two elevated
wave events impacting the study area. In the first, between approximately September 20th to
September 27th, we see an increase in wave height activity up to almost 2 m on a few days in
Figure 6A. The second, between September 27th to October 7th, has the same occurrence in wave
heights, up to 2m high. Additionally, we can see a change in the time between waves during the
same periods in Figure 6B. So, we have larger waves with a longer period between them hitting
the shore for several days. These two wave events occurred between the first and second surveys,
therefore this is a likely cause for why we see the changes in beach elevation and sand loss
between September and October. Later, between the second and third survey we see more
consistent wave conditions, that likely allowed the beach to re-accumulate some of the sediment
lost during the previous months wave events. Another trend observed is the net change in beach
height. Transect 1 (Figure 5) changed 0.76m between September and November, transect 2, 3,
and 4 changed 0.43m, 0.40m, and 0.1m respectively. The further away the transect was from the
jetty, the less that changes occurred. These spatial changes are presumably due to wave height
being highest at the jetty and decreasing as you move away. The most significant change in
beach height over the course of the three surveys would occurred in transect 1.

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A Average Wave Height
2

Wave height (m) 1.5

0.5

0
28-Aug 7-Sep 17-Sep 27-Sep 7-Oct 17-Oct 27-Oct 6-Nov 16-Nov 26-Nov

2016
Average Wave Height Survey Data Collection 48 per. Mov. Avg. (Average Wave Height)

B Average Wave Period


14
12
10
8
Time (sec)

6
4
2
0
28-Aug 7-Sep 17-Sep 27-Sep 7-Oct 17-Oct 27-Oct 6-Nov 16-Nov 26-Nov
2016
Average Wave Period Survey Data Collection 48 per. Mov. Avg. (Average Wave Period)

Figure 6. Graph A depicts height changes in waves between the three surveys. B shows the average time
between waves between the three surveys. The 48-hour moving average in both graphs helps show an
average trend in the data. (Min Max Mean Buoy 213 Historical Data)

A Average Mean Size


800.00
Mean Size (m)

600.00
400.00
200.00
-
Beginning Middle End
Location (within transect)

Transect 1 Transect 2 Transect 3 Transect 4

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B Average Standard Deviation
500.00

Standard Deviation
400.00
300.00
200.00
100.00
0.00
Beginning Middle End
Location (within transect)

Transect 1 Transect 2 Transect 3 Transect 4

Figure 7. Graph A displays a spatial comparison of the mean sand size within in the transects. Graph B
displays a comparison of the standard deviation or sediment sorting within the transects. The mean size
and the sediment sorting of the samples represented here is an average of all the surveys. The
Beginning represent the 0m measurement at the beginning of the transect towards the back of the
beach. The Middle represent the 30m measurement in the middle of the transects. The End
represents where the last measurement was taken for each transect at the shoreline, which were 50m,
44m, 50m, and 56m respectively.

5.2 Sand as an Indicator for Spatial Variability Along the Beach


Some trends in the sand sample data can be observed in Figure 7 above. The mean size of the
beginning and the middle of the transects is slightly coarser compared to the end of the transects.
The end of the transects all have a relatively uniform mean sand size which is less coarse. Trends
in the sediment sorting are similar to those in mean size. On average the standard deviation is
higher, or less sorted in the beginning and the middle of the transects compared to the end of the
transects. The waterline is where we see the differences in the beach. Therefore, the data reveals
that at any given place on the beach, the sand is going to be less coarse and more well sorted at
the waterline. This data also shows that the beach has its coarseness and sorting locked in and it
will not change very much over time regardless of wave events or other erosional events,
compared to changes in elevation.
6.0 Conclusion
Since the wedge had very little literature written about it, this survey (though measuring
elevation changes and finding mean size and sorting for the sand) can now add some knowledge
to the area. Conclusions about beach elevation changes, mean sand size, and sand sorting for the
wedge are as follows: (1) the jetty plays a significant role in beach elevation; (2) changes
decrease the further away from the jetty you get; (3) wave heights and periods are the main
factor in this beaches elevation changes; (4) spatial changes in sand on the beach were only along
each transect, meaning 0m to the last measurement, rather than changes between transects; (5)
for each transect the sample at the waterline had the smallest mean size and best sorting.
Therefore, beach elevation at the wedge experienced both temporal and spatial changes, and the
sand only experienced spatial changes.

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