Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Hammersley Inlet

Hammersley Inlet seems more like a big river than it does a remote arm of the Pacific Ocean. It is narrow and runs east-west, which together conspire against big waves. Most of the energy along here comes from passing tugs and tidal currents and there's not much sediment moving around on the beaches. Marsh grasses and Salicornia are able to establish themselves on the upper beach in some substrates (probably whatever is beneath the thin beach veneer, not the beach material itself).

Occasionally in South Puget Sound I run into one of these zigzag concrete Lincoln Log bulkheads. From old air photos, I suspect they date to the 1960s or early 1970s. They probably wouldn't last in a higher energy area where big logs could get tossed against the structure during storms.

This shoreline has a long history. Until a few decades ago, a road followed the top of the bank. And long before that, it looks like there must have been a corduroy road along the back of the beach itself. There are places here where you can still see the horizontal logs in the beach in front of newer bulkheads!

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