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Title: Beach changes on eastern Cape Cod, Massachusetts, from Newcomb Hollow to Nauset Inlet, 1970-1974
Authors: Science Applications International Corporation
Miller, Martin C.
Aubrey, David G.
Keywords: Coast changes--Massachusetts--Cape Cod
Beaches--Massachusetts--Cape Cod
Beach erosion
Cape Cod (Mass.)
Publisher: Coastal Engineering Research Center (U.S.)
Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Series/Report no.: Miscellaneous paper (U.S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station) ; CERC-85-10.
Description: Miscellaneous paper
Abstract: Beach profile data taken at 13 profile lines on outer Cape Cod between August 1970 and June 1974 were analyzed to determine trends 1n profile variability on long-term, seasonal, and short-term time scales and in the longshore and onshore-offshore directions. The 10 northernmost profile lines were backed by steep bluffs of unconsolidated glacial drift, while the remainder were backed by dunes of varying height. Bluff recession rates during the study averaged 0.83 meter per year with a maximum and a minimum of 1.71 and 0.22 meter per year, respectively. The long-term mean bluff recession rate is 0.93 meter per year as determined by measurements from 1879 to 1974. A regression analysis of the mean sea level (MSL) shoreline intercept with time, using raw data as well as empirical eigenfunctions of the beach face (excluding bluff) profiles, suggests a narrowing of the beach during the study . An empirical eigenfunction analysis showed that seasonal beach cycles were related to the seasonal northeast storms, most of which occur in late autumn, winter, and early spring. Three such events were analyzed using water level and wind data from Nantucket and local Littoral Environment Observation (LEO) wave estimates. Beach profile line measurements showed great variability in longshore changes in MSL shoreline and above MSL volume with adjacent profile lines sometimes changing in opposite direction. Bluff erosion, which feeds the beach during storms, effectively extended the MSL shoreline, reducing the total volume. Longshore variability may be due to the location and integrity of an offshore bar which was not observed during the study. The data set, which was seaward only to the -0.6 MSL position, limited study findings. Future study efforts should include offshore profile lines to determine positions of sandbars, as well as complete wave, wind, and water level observations near the site. The interrelationship of bluffs, beaches, and the offshore zone should also be considered in future measurement programs.
Rights: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Appears in Collections:Miscellaneous Paper

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