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!


Three months without a post! I need a bumper sticker that says "a bad day at the beach is still better than a good day of meetings". There have been far too many days of meetings although some have been good ones. And there have been far too few brief trips to the beach. In December, I checked out the recent renourishment at Lincoln Park. And one weekend I wandered out to Golden Gardens, the nearest beach to my house, simply since I hadn't been there in a long time. But somehow the pictures haven't made it to the blog.

Monday (now over two weeks ago) was a nice break in the office-bound routine. The roads of Mason County were empty and snowy and made for a pleasant trip to the site visit near Shelton.

I mentioned Allyn in a post earlier this fall from Manchester. They are both towns where boat ramps have been built to span the upper beach to minimize impacts on beach habitat and sediment transport. Because they are basically bridges, they require different engineering than conventional ramps. I'm not sure what happened here, but it is coming apart and has been closed for some time.