Within this paper, the differences between a summer and winter beach will be explained thoroughly, and the sand samples taken from the back shore portion of Huntington Beach, located in South Carolina, will be used as proof of these differences. The sand samples taken at both summer and winter periods will be defined and analyzed in great detail, as will the beach area itself. Once having read this paper, the general background information on the type of sand collected, specifically about Huntington Beach, will be evident, as will the differences in the beach during winter and summer time. The samples will be described thoroughly, and lab work and findings will be summarized ...view middle of the document...
The crucial element to this equilibrium is the berm, which is the part of the beach that changes most during the seasonal cycle. The summer beach tends to possess large berms, small offshore sand bars, and contain more fine sediments in beach deposits (Shoreline Processes).
Seasonal Changes in Beach Activity
Along numerous coasts, wave activity is most energetic during winter months and fairly mild during summer months (Beach Profiles). Consequently, beach profiles are referred to as "winter profiles" and "summer profiles" because they reflect the natural modification to the seasonal wave energy. Many researchers have acquired frequent profiles over several years to demonstrate this fluctuation between seasonal beach states profiles. The results from these studies have revealed that beach sediment is not necessarily "lost" during erosion events, it simply moves offshore to create submarine sand bars (Beach Profiles). Unfortunately, beach sediment is truly lost from coastal systems, however, when the source of sediment from rivers to the ocean is cut in by dams or other human activities.
Shoreline development signifies the equilibrium of sediment supply, wave energy, and shoreline geometry; when one of these elements changes, the others will re-equilibrate (Shoreline Processes). This happens during seasonal change. We generally see characteristic change between summer and winter beach profiles. Typically, beaches and dunes experience a seasonal alteration from a “summer” beach to a "winter" beach. A summer beach has a wide, well-developed berm, often accompanied by a vegetated dune where American beach grass grows seaward onto the berm (Learn More about Beaches and Dunes). A winter beach is lower, may not have a berm, and often shows signs of loss of beach grass.
In the above discussions of seasonal differences in beach profiles, we are considering the effects of cross-shore sediment transport – in other words, the changes that cause beaches to switch between "barred" (winter) profiles and "bermed" (summer) profiles (Beach Profiles). These two types of profiles result in narrow beaches in the winter and wide beaches in the summer. But if there is an overall decrease in longshore sediment transport, from a decrease in sediment supply, both the summer and winter profiles give narrower beaches than their "full supply" states (Beach Profiles).
Background on Huntington Beach
The coastal climate of...