Beach Evolution on Scales from Storms to Years

Start/End: February, 2012 to March, 2015

The physical oceanographers leading this project have been monitoring sand movement at three beaches in San Diego County that received beach nourishment in 2012 through a $28-million regional beach sand project. This monitoring has highlighted the dramatic variability in how beaches may respond to wintertime waves: Sand at Cardiff State Beach and Solona Beach, for example, was transported to offshore waters (depths of 4-12 meters) during the 2012-13 winter season, while at Imperial Beach, much of the added sand remained above mean sea level and was transported several kilometers south, reaching the Tijuana River mouth 8 months later. The scientists have extended their Sea Grant project in order to continue monitoring beach sand movement, and they are also developing numerical models for sand transport. The ultimate goal of the project is to better understand how our sandy beaches respond to waves over time scale ranging from individual storms to decades-long storm patterns. The project is a collaboration with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the California Department of Parks and Recreation.

  • Principal Investigators

    Scripps Institution of Oceanography at University of California, San Diego

Co-principal Investigators