Thursday, January 02, 2020

K'uuna Llnagaay

I generally would not post a beach that I hadn't actually visited, but I really wanted to work this one in somehow. Everything I know about this place I inferred from the exhibit at the Royal BC Museum in Victoria or from the imagery on Google Maps. The beach caught my eye in part because of the quality of the diorama, in part because the site is located on a small tombolo in a place that I've not yet visited (Haida Gwaii - the Queen Charlotte Islands), and in part because it just nicely illustrates how humans historically may have interacted with the beach.


The landform itself at K'uuna Llnagaay (also called Skedans) appears to be a double tombolo. These features tend to be pretty stable over time. I like the way the diorama captures the back of the beach without much evidence of either long-term erosion or accretion. The village is built on the backshore, which would have been high and dry in all but the most extreme conditions (large high tide storms or tsunamis). There's a small stream at the west end of the beach that would provide freshwater. Often these are associated with small back-barrier wetlands, but if so, this isn't obvious in either the aerials or the diorama.

If the model is accurate (apparently it was based on old photographs), it looks like the village is located a  discrete back from the edge of the beach. Perhaps the beach had built out since the buildings were constructed, but I like to think that this reflects a deliberate decision to reduce the potential of storm damage (and to provide more usable community space on the waterside of the village).

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