In a major opus post, David Churbuck has given us an outstanding explanation of coastal beach erosion processes, in light of last weeks storm on Cape Cod. Most of us forget that Cape Cod is simply a sandbar, subject to change at the whims of the hydrologic processes.
Sand moves in a predictable path along a beach — this is the “littoral drift” — sand doesn’t come into a beach perpindicularly, washing straight back out, but it moves, drawing from one source to deposit to another. Hence, if you look at a map of Nantucket, there is an impossibly narrow spit of land — Great Point — sticking out like an appendage. And on Cape Cod, a similar, but bigger structure exists in Provincetown. Hanging south of Chatham is Monomoy Island.
If you’re interested in coastal erosion, this is a must read. If you aren’t interested, you will be when you read it. Really – this is one of the best blog posts you’ll read this year!