West Kauai Long Term Beach Study – March 2013 Update

After five months of monitoring the beaches of the Mana Coastal Plain, preliminary results seem to be verifying our basic model for the origin and evolution of west Kauai beaches.

Winter north pacific swell-driven long shore currents have been moving sand from beaches along the PMRF (Pacific Missile Range Facility) and depositing it on beaches several miles down drift along the Kekaha shoreline.

Key illustrations of present results of the study are provided below.

West Kauai Longshore Currents

North Pacific wave-driven longshore currents.

North Pacific wave-driven longshore currents move carbonate sediments from the Haena reef area along the Na Pali coast and the Mana Coastal Plain over 25 miles to the Kekaha shoreline area.

PMRF Kekaha Beach Change

Beach Changes in PMRF/Kekaha Survey, November 2012 through February 2013

Changes documented for beach widths from November 2012 through February 2013 are shown above.

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