Mid-El Niño erosion at nourished and unnourished Southern California beaches

Ludka, BC, Gallien TW, Crosby SC, Guza RT.  2016.  Mid-El Niño erosion at nourished and unnourished Southern California beaches. Geophysical Research Letters. 43(9):4510-4516.

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Wave conditions in Southern California during the 2015–2016 El Niño were similar to the 2009–2010 El Niño, previously the most erosive (minimum beach widths and subaerial sand levels) in a 7 year record. As of February 2016, Torrey Pines Beach had eroded slightly below 2009–2010 levels, threatening the shoulder of a major highway. However, Cardiff, Solana, and Imperial Beaches, nourished with imported sand in 2012, were on average 1–2 m more elevated and more than 10 m wider than in 2009–2010. Monthly subaerial sand elevation observations showed that the nourished beaches remained consistently wider than unnourished beaches under similar wave conditions. In contrast to a 2001 nourishment at Torrey Pines built with native sized sand that was removed from the beach face during a single storm, these relatively coarse grained nourishments protected shorelines for several years, and during the significant wave attack of the 2015–2016 El Niño, as of February 2016.