To appear: Shore & Beach, Vol 72, No. 1, 2004.
have accentuated beach erosion in the downdrift areas.
moving around the jetty and migrating into the inlet area forming spits and shoals
does not bypass the inlet and thus reduces the supply of sediment to Gilgo
Beach. The sand dike constructed in 1959 slowed, but did not halt this trend.
Buildup of the secondary flood shoal in the barrier overlap area may have also
contributed to erosion problems along Oak Beach by impounding sand and
promoting strong currents in the constricted tidal channel around the shoal.
The overlapped barrier configuration of Fire Island Inlet distributes
shoaling and erosion patterns over a wide region. The configuration requires
navigational dredging and sand management activities to include a much larger
area compared to more common inlet configurations.
Thus, the review of
historical data and analysis presented here is in agreement with a hypothetical
discussion of relocating Fire Island Inlet to the east in a more north-south
alignment (Kraus et al., 2003). This configuration would have a shorter, more
hydraulically efficient inlet throat section and a more confined and manageable
redistribution of sediment along adjacent beaches.
The Section 227 National Shoreline Erosion Control Development and
Demonstration Program, Mr. William Curtis, Program Manager, and the Inlet
Morphology and Channels Work Unite, Coastal Inlets Research Program
supported this study.
We thank Mr. Kenneth Connell, FIT, for providing
assistance in the GIS analysis.