Beach Erosion and Accretion Update

It’s been a dynamic year on the Dewees beach front, in March / April it looked like we were headed for a horrible year of more and more erosion.  And then things changed.

The sand from the sandbar attached to the island north of Osprey Walk has started spreading out and welding onto the beach front, just like our friend Professor Leslie Sauter, the coastal geology expert from the College of Charleston, said it would.

We’ve seen fairly steady accretion (the opposite of erosion) since then.  It doesn’t happen at a steady rate.  It ebbs and flows.  One week you might see new sand, only to see it gone the next.  Then a month later there’s a new high sand mark.

Hurricane season and winter storms can have a dramatic effect.  When you only get to the island a few times a year, the changes between visits can be dramatic.

I thought I’d get an interim update from ocean front resident Gary McGraw.  I asked:

Did the waves from [Hurricane] Igor have much of an effect on the amount of sand on the beach?

And he responded:

Yes, but in a good way. As measured at my boardwalk, here is the sequence. In March, you could almost walk under my boardwalk. The sand was 10” below step five. Before Hurricane Earl, the sand was between step three & four; but the tides washed away sand back down to step four. Today after Hurricane Igor, the sand nearly covers step three … Igor washed sand onto the beach! Since spring, I’d guess over two feet of sand has accreted at my boardwalk.

Cheers, Gary

Gary confirmed last night at the Turtle Team Party that the sand is still covering steps three.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Melinda Nutter

    Judy & Gary,

    I cannot wait to arrive at Dewees next week to see the accretion of sand.

    Thank you for the record keeping, Gary and thank you for the update Judy.


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