7 Comparative Analysis and
This study of Mattituck Inlet and Goldsmith Inlet, Long Island, NY, covered
the historic and geomorphic background, literature, field measurements,
numerical modeling of tidal circulation, and analysis of inlet morphology.
Information contained in the preceding chapters of this report is comprehensive
and varied. This chapter integrates and synopsizes study results and findings of
the morphologic characteristics of the two inlets for engineering applications.
Recommendations are given to improve the quality of future investigations and
to support coastal and navigation projects located on the north shore of Long
Tidal inlets on the north shore of Long Island opening to Long Island Sound
have received little study compared to those on the south shore that open to the
Atlantic Ocean. It appears that most inlets on the north shore have been more
stable and in existence longer than the inlets on the south shore. For example, on
the south shore, Fire Island Inlet migrated several miles westward between 1824
and 1940 (Gofseyeff 1952), Moriches Inlet closed for decades in the twentieth
century (Czerniak 1977), and the Great Storm of 1938 reopened Shinnecock Inlet
in the twentieth century. Such extremes have not been reported for inlets located
on the north shore. Inlets on the north shore, therefore, hold value for furthering
understanding of basic inlet processes, in particular, of inlet stability. Knowledge
and insight gained on the mechanisms contributing to the stability of Long Island
north shore inlets will provide information and guidance for maintaining inlets in
Another motivation for the study of inlets along the north shore of Long
Island is the large range in grain size of the sediments on this coast, where both
coarse sand and gravel are present. In contrast, most studies and findings for
inlets concern coasts consisting primarily of uniform fine-to-medium sands.
Mattituck Inlet, with a federally maintained navigable channel, is located
5.2 miles to the west and is larger than Goldsmith Inlet, although small relative to
the six permanent inlets on the south shore of Long Island. Goldsmith Inlet is a
small inlet and the easternmost on the north shore. Goldsmith Inlet has
undergone moderate anthropogenic manipulation as compared to Mattituck Inlet.
Therefore, the two neighboring inlets provide a reasonable range in physical
characteristics to make comparisons and search for controlling variables on inlet
stability and hydrodynamics.
Chapter 7 Comparative Analysis and Conclusions