According to Greenman-Pedersen Associates, P.C. (1981), the Goldsmith
Inlet jetty reached impoundment capacity in 1972 and had become an effective
sediment bypasser. Their analysis, however, indicates that the greatest rates of
erosion on the downdrift beach occurred between 1972-1978. The report
concludes that there is no apparent reason for this acceleration. Analysis in the
present study indicates that an effective sediment bypassing system was not
established until the jetty-attached spit directly east of the jetty had reached a
certain volume and areal extent. The impoundment fillet directly west of the
jetty was the apparent primary sediment sink in this area prior to 1972. After
this, the formation of the spit adjacent to the east side of the jetty became the
primary sediment sink for the local sand-sharing system. This period may have
also been characterized by greater rates of sediment intrusion within the inlet.
Goldsmith Inlet was dredged in 1977 and again in July 1980. Figure 4-42g
shows Goldsmith Inlet was closed on 24 May 1980. This dredging reopened the
inlet. The inlet also appears to have been approaching closure in 1976, and the
dredging of 1977 is assumed to have prevented closure or reopened the inlet soon
after closure. Aerial photographs for the period 19811993 were not found.
Records indicate, however, that the Town of Southold regularly dredged the inlet
during this time (Table 2-9). Based on comparison of areal extent of the spit
directly east of the jetty in 1976 and 1993, it is assumed that these dredgings
served to keep the inlet open and the location at the entrance of the inlet
The present, dynamic morphology of the Goldsmith Inlet channel is apparent
in Figures 4-43d and 4-43e. No dredging records are available for Goldsmith
Inlet after 1990. Fields et al. (1999) estimates that 5,000 cu yd of sediment had
been dredged annually from Goldsmith Inlet. The Southold Town Engineer,
however, has indicated that all dredging operations ceased sometime in the mid-
1990s.1 Ceasing of dredging is apparently reflected in the growth of the spit
directly west of the jetty between 1993 and 1996 (Figure 4-43d).
Channel orientation for 2002-2004 is illustrated in Figure 4-43e. There
appears to have been little migration of the channel entrance between 1996 and
2002, although locational stability may have owed to dredging for which
accurate records are not available. The observed rapid migration and spit
formation of recent times is discussed in the following paragraphs.
Personal communication, 22 March 2003, Mr. James. A Richter, Office of the Engineer, Southold
Town Hall, 53095 Main Road, Southold, NY.
Chapter 4 Morphology Change, and Channel Shoaling and Migration