Date of Award
Bachelor of Science (BS)
College of Science
Paul T. Gayes
A long-term beach-surveying program conducted along the South Carolina coast has generated an extensive database of beach and shoreface behavior along a broad (200 km) section of coastline. Profiles have been collected using a sled-based surveying system at 300 locations since 1993. Profiles typically extend from the dune offshore to well beyond the calculated depth of closure for the area. In areas of recent beach nourishment projects, additional surveys have been collected to assess the behavior of artificial beaches in the region. This extensive database has been used to analyze the nature of profile behavior within the region. Defining an "equilibrium profile" from the database, utilizing standard forms of expressions, produces variable levels of success in representing the range of beaches shaped by similar wave climate, tidal range and sediment size in the study area. In many locations, the profile of the beach and shoreface has evolved away from an "equilibrium profile" in response to natural and human induced perturbations. These disturbances include the influence of hard engineering structures (i.e. seawalls, groins, etc.), beach nourishment, and outcrop of antecedent geologic framework. A graphical analysis of the deviation from the local "equilibrium profile" in disturbed areas was used to project beach response to removal of the disturbing influence (seawalls, groins, cessation of beach nourishment). A similar analysis was used to project deviations from existing behavior where older indurated deposits will soon be intersected by the eroding shoreface.
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Miller, Tara Leigh, "Beach Profiles of Disequilibrium: Variations on a Theme" (2000). Honors Theses. 254.