Saturday, February 06, 2010
I hadn't walked this southernmost part of Camano Island State Park in many years. I'm often down here at very high tides when the waves leave little room to walk along the toe of the bluff - which makes walking the spit just north a more attractive option (Lowell Point).
Wolf Bauer coined the term "feeder bluff" decades ago for the eroding bluffs that contribute sand and gravel to Puget Sound beaches and the term has stuck. We still use it in regulations and technical reports and interpretive signs. It's a great functional term that describes what these bluffs do. Sometimes I avoid the term - it lacks the scientific credentials and precision of wordier phrases - but in the end, it works.
This particular feeder bluff has been working well recently. The culprits include early season rains, some good freezes (which can contribute to certain kinds of failures), and the recent very high tides. A 13.9 foot tide, like those of two weeks ago, probably brings water right up to the toe of the bluff itself - even without waves.