Seasons, Storms and Seawalls: A Comparison of Constrained and Unconstrained Beaches in Groton, Conn.
By: Katherine Serafin '08
Advising Faculty: N/A
A study was done in order to evaluate the impact of a seawall on a beach in Groton, Connecticut. Literature predicts beaches containing seawalls will inhibit functioning as a normal beach and lead to increased erosion. Groton Long Point is developed and backed by a seawall while Bluff Point is located on a state park and receives much less human usage. Profiles were measured to study the affect of storms, seasonality and time on these two barrier beaches. Two transects at each beach were used to determine changes in profiles throughout the year. Profiles were then compared to previous research (Campbell, 2004) to analyze long-term change. The beach at Bluff Point reacted normally to the seasons and the storm and showed a trend of accretion over the four-year period. On the other hand, Groton Long Point beach showed no change in beach features in regard to the seasons and storms and exhibited extreme variability in the long-term. While it cannot be proven the seawall at Groton Long Point is increasing erosion, there is strong evidence of erosion on the beach. The irregular system created makes it hard to predict how the beach will behave in the future.
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Related Fields: Goodwin-Niering Center, Physics