Submitted by velocityjohnno on Sat, 06/15/2019 - 10:47
There's not really a coastal erosion thread that I can see, beyond some excellent articles on the site. Post up examples you find in your area, and maybe how the sand banks and wave quality change.
LD - probably did handle them briefly, within the context of lab work. And was also on site, but I won'd disclose which/where, respecting the clients. I'd assume it would be similar across many operations like this world-wide, and that some sands (as well as granite, for example) possess a slight radioactivity. The doing bit was my job - I loved that line of work, all the travel, new sites, new people, remote work.
And yes, you get to see things occasionally that make you go "Whoa!" Exposure to many substances will have safe "limits" usually imposed after much study, and I'm happy I was within those limits. Er, hopefully...
What I'd like to say is: "The radioactive sands... changed me and gave me super-powers. I can now look through clothing pieces. I now act tirelessly for the greater good, only choosing when to use my powers with great restraint." As Leslie Nielsen said: "With great power, comes..."
And a bonus, pretty dangerous in coastal dune systems:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZzTYYtYq0YY
At a more localised level around Newcastle, a few of us have a theory that in addition to the sand dune stabilisation (e.g. Nobbys) and shore stabilisation along Merewether/Bar Beach stretch, the restricted stormwater outflow onto the beaches has also adversely impacted the sand banks and waves. For example back in the day there were pretty consistent left and rights directly off the drain outflows at Merewether, South Bar, Southey, and Newcastle. Just a theory, but appears to be more than coincidental. As a side note the the restricted freshwater outflow has also contributed to the lower level of oysters around the rocks these days (change in salinity for spawning).
One thing to be mindful of when comparing the beach condition you see now with what you knew it to be decades ago....what you're seeing now could very well be the "natural" (i.e. closer to the long term/steady beach state) and what you recall as being all-time in your younger years may have been in a post-storm/early recovery phase.
As for groyne suddenly turning on ya...same rule applies, it can take 30 years for the consequences of a specific change to fully play out.
The reasons for these vary greatly.
As for radioactive sand....firstly, if you touched it surely that means you've grown a big blue dong a-la-Dr Manhattan? secondly...the old man was in that industry for a while (rutile sands, not dongs) and said there's "radioactive" waste product in landscaping products (yes, sporting field and backyard soil included) all over SEQ and N-NSW....a few attempts to raise awareness of it in the Courier Mail a while back mysteriously shut up shop pretty quick...
“Life is a long lesson in humility.”
VJ, any thoughts on use of tank traps as a coastal erosion measure plus anti-SUP device ;-) as opposed to the relatively harmless marram grass!
On a serious note does pretty sound dangerous and it is also interesting that they are being exposed as at some point that must have been the natural beach profile.
Anyone use this?
Just saw your tank-trap post Distracted, I admit I had to look the term up. As suspected, they are barricades to stop tanks! One thing that's interesting is that they were buried and are re-exposed, which suggests the coastline profile was more receded in the 1940s? Maybe something happened after then to build up sand over the traps?
Around here, we have these wooden barriers extending out into the sea at the TQ front beach. When the sand is taken away (like now, with all the Sudden-Stratospheric-Warming related Westerlies and large out-of-season swells associated) they become an obstacle for logs/SUPs/groms at one of the fav grommie spots. Not too nice to ride into one at high tide!
I always thought that if someone could design an ocean version of a snow groomer, they could be put to work on little days, create great A frames, and employ the local stoners, all in one hit.
Mowgli, about radioactivity and big blue dongs, just checked and it's not blue. So I'm OK I think. Also, don't use FB so haven't seen it. The only FB link I've ever clicked on is "AU Falcons doing incredible things", which is pretty inspiring.
From memory the 30s saw some whoppa tropical storms so that may explain denuded beach systems in the 40s. The ones up here on hte sunny coast really only achieved a "recovered state" from the high cyclonic activity of the 70s in the '00s.
Stu asked me on the EAC article if I had seen Crikey's 'Collapsing Coast' series, linked here:
Some reading to go through. Searching for it I came across a 2008 article from the other surf site:
Question: do any of you live near the spots in the CW article? Have they changed since 2008?
I'll get into reading all that above tonight. One thing I'm wondering Stu, would there be any benefit in identifying a 'control' beach that is not featured in development (or marram) or anything silly we have introduced? If so, how is that changing?
I was a bit disappointed by the Inq coverage TBH. Thought it would be more in depth, you'll get a better analysis in our forums and comments.
As for a control beach: Maybe for future forecast changes - i.e sea level rise - but all the erosion to date is human-induced so not sure there'd be any purpose of control data?
Also, each example is very individual. Humans have found myriad ways to screw to coastal zone.
Agree, and that's a huge compliment to the information here at Swellnet!
As for the control beach, I was thinking of the one I sent you the pic of - no marram, very little human input, blowout present in the dunes, gradual slope presents opportunity of well defined and shaped waves. A long term view of this beach - which will be changing itself as the dunal plants colonise and then get wiped back - might give a better view of the sea level rise? Dunno if the land there is elevating or sinking.
Yeah, in terms of sea level rise, an untouched beach may be good. Though from what I understand, sea level rise will be erratic, not the same around Australia or the world, so perhaps it might come down to some places faring better than others irrespective of how original and intact it is.
Not sure, just spitballing.