seasonal variation in beach profile shape

Most beaches undergo seasonal variations from a lean, sediment-starved "winter" profile and a sediment-rich "summer" profile. The wave climate during the winter is much more energetic. Large, short-period waves associated with storms tend to erode the beach and berm and move sediment seaward into an offshore bar. The beach profile is typically steeper with a much smaller or non-existent berm. Smaller, longer-period waves during the summer tend to move sediment back onto the upper portion of the beach, rebuilding the berm and creating a less steep beach profile.

Last updated on October 6, 2005