Beach Dynamics of San Salvador

April 11th, 2011

The San Salvador Island, Bahamas, is located within Hurricane Alley, causing the island to be passed by approximately 60 hurricanes in over a 100-year span.  The purpose of this project is to conduct a comparative multiyear study, from 1999 to 2010, of three beaches on San Salvador that experience different wave and wind regimes and examine the effects that time and prevailing trade winds have on the length/anatomy of a beach’s profile, in relation to its location. For this study the beaches were standardized and digitalized into a PowerPoint animation in order to be compared.  Different factors, such as extreme weather events (hurricanes), location relative to prevailing winds, and proximity to rocky headlands are what influence the beaches dynamics and consequent geomorphology; Rocky Point beach generally remains stable, East Beach is prograding seaward, and Sandy Point beach is the most dynamic system due to its exposure on the windward southeast coast of the island. By looking at these beaches it can give us ideas as to the trends of these beaches and determine what they may look like in the future.

Hailey Goetschius, ’11
Mt. Vernon, IA
Major: Geology

Sponsor: Rhawn Denniston

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