Coastal erosion 101

The recipe:

1. Take three east coast lows (with windspeeds equal to a category 2 tropical cyclone experienced in Sydney) between the New South Wales/Victoria coast and New Zealand.

2. Add one full moon (spiced with a partial eclipse), producing king tides.

Partial eclipse of the moon as seen in Australia on 4 June 2012; photo by Greg Wilson, Wikimedia Commons

The result:

“How the heck am I going to get to the waves now?” Gently sloping path washed away

A long way down for a small dog

The beach, although now with sand cliffs, looks pristine …

… but is covered with rows and rows of this … I’ve never seen so much. It’ll wash out with the next high tide to create problems in the sea.

Tiny plastic, amid lots of much larger pieces washed up on the beach

Buying foreshore property? I don’t think so!

4 thoughts on “Coastal erosion 101

  1. This is not new, it is just that we have recently witnessed a major event (for the reasons you have listed). I remember a similar event which nearly wiped out the Gold Coast and Surfers Paradise in the mid 60s (the advantage of having a long memory).
    It all ends up on Fraser Island.
    “At a regional scale, the East Australian Current skirts the coastline and begins to intensify along
    south-east Queensland and northern New South Wales. The more prominent
    headlands of Point Lookout and Point Danger can influence the direction of the current
    when it meanders close to the coast. On a local scale, the predominant northward
    transport of sand on the Gold Coast is caused by waves and the local wave climate
    resulting in long stretches of white sandy beaches.”

    Click to access East-Australian-Current.pdf


    • Yes, it’s been going on for millions of years. Byron Bay and suchlike have many million-dollar homes that were allowed to be built too close to the foreshore, and are suffering the consequences.
      Fraser Island is considered the largest sand island in the world, with Moreton and Stradbroke Islands to the south coming in close behind.

  2. This event was noticible in Yamba for sure. Lost a lot of sand and accessway at popular Whiting Beach, big boulders dropped out of the cliff at Spooky Beach, and there was all kinds of small rock rubble spewed right up to the shoreline of the Blue Pool. Locals say they’d never seen it come up so high. Also at the Main Beach lifesaving building, the lower floor was engulfed by a huge wave. wild stuff. Beaut eclipse, though.

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