Have you noticed all the extra sand on the beach lately? and no, I'm not talking about the beach renourishment projects going on (one at mid town on Palm Beach, one on Singer Island) Without the assistance of bulldozers and dump trucks, the beach behind the breakers on Palm Beach has grown a good 50-75 years in just two weeks! Just look at the picture below:
There is a beach renourishment project going on right down the beach south of the breakers, but with all the north swells we've had...it's unlikely that sand made it a couple miles north to the Breakers. Reports have been coming in of old sandbars disappearing and new ones popping up all over. The sand is on the move! from what I've seen and heard, sand has now filled over most of the rocks on the inside at Lantana, north of Sunrise/Seminole on Palm Beach (Mansions) there seems to be a waist deep sand bar WAAAY out there on the outside. Jupiter is picking up a lot more sand bars up and down Kite and Dog beach, but at teh pier, that cove is forming again south of the pier.
So what's going on? Sand migrates all the time. It's constantly shifting and moving. Mother nature giveth, and taketh away. It goes in cycles. From what I've seen living and surfing down here, I've found that there's something about refraction swells that put sand back on the beach. I tried to look up if there was any scientific proof of this and couldn't find anything. I just know from living and growing up here most of my life, and being a surfer for more than 20 years, that refraction swells deposit sand on the beach. We did have a lot of those swells in December.
My theory is that it's not only the wave, but the wind too:
Windchop waves have a shorter period and break right on the shore, chewing up the shoreline and causing erosion. Onshore winds push all the water on the surface toward the shore, so the water underneath gets pulled out, bringing the chewed up sand with it, and depositing it into sand bars further offshore and downstream.
A refraction swell has a longer period and breaks on the sandbars further offshore. All the energy from the breaking waves chews up the sandbars. Refraction swells have strong offshore winds which blows the surface of the water out to sea, making the water near the sea floor move toward the shore(to fill the place where the surface water moved out to sea)...it in turn takes the churned up sand with it, and deposits it right along the shoreline.
Whatever the reason is, you will see a lot of old places not working anymore and if you explore, you will probably find a few more places that are. It's no secret, but look at what that sand has done for a place that never really broke all that good. Looks like a point break now!
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