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January 3 2003 at 6:41 PM
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Tom_in_Salinas_CA  (no login)
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Response to Beach geography question


The answers to your questions are: It depends. Each beach has its own idiosyncracies. A slope or scallop can occur in sterile sand. So you kinda gotta know the bench marks for each beach, so you know what truly low sand, or just fluffy formations. BIG rocks can move in out with surf too, so don't be so sure, that just because you see sizable rocks or grittier sand, that the light sand has necessarily gone out. It may be coming in. There's ways to differentiate, based on the look of how the water has pulled out around those rocks. If they have a "high and dry" look, they may be from erosion. If they have a "crowned" look, or the bottoms of them have a "washed-around" look, that could be new sand coming in. If you've ever been in a hot zone, where you can't dig fast enough, and coins are in every swing, your brain will lock onto the look the beach had, and after 10-20 yrs, you'll get to where you can just look at the color, look, and feel of the sand to know if it's the good kind of erosion. Even then, there'll be some inexplicable results. Storm veterans can usually point out wave types, beach formations, and other observations that they will say is bad or good. But to try to describe them in print, will probably get confused w/similar looking features, and might point you in the wrong direction.

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