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Goochs Beach and Middle Beach, Kennebunk
Background geology and characteristics
Annual and seasonal beach profile changes
Profiles along Goochs and Middle Beach all start along a seawall, with the first point being the level of sediment below the wall. Overall beach profile data collection began in 2001 and has been continuous through 2007. The beach at GO1 was relatively stable to slightly accretive from 2001-2002, and erosive from 2002-2003 (Figure 100). In 2004, the beach gained sediment at its upper portions - nearest the seawall - and also in the berm area. There were only slight changes in 2005-2006, mainly a slight increase in the berm elevation. In 2007, data biased by only the winter months, the mean profile indicated that sand elevations were lowest of all years except for a portion of the 2003 profile, along the berm, which was flat and not well developed. Seasonally, GO1 (Figure 101) shows relatively little change in the upper portion (berm area) of the profile (from about 1m and above). The berm here appears to be about 10 m in size during the summer. Standard deviation data (Figure 102a) show that the berm at GO1 varies about 30 cm vertically; in fact, variation along the entire profile is on the order of 30 cm, and increases to between 35-40 cm in the offshore, for both summer and winter.
The beach at GO2 underwent little change between 2001-2002. Between 2002-2003, almost the entire middle portion of the profile (to about 0 m in elevation) eroded (Figure 103). Erosion continued into 2004, though there was some elevation in gain in the upper portion of the berm. In 2004-2006, the middle portion of the profile recovered some sediment volume. The winter of 2007 eroded the entire profile dramatically, removing about 0.3 m of sediment along the entire length of the beach profile. GO2 exhibits a distinct difference in the summer versus winter profiles, with more sediment volume along almost the entire profile in the summer (Figure 104). Though overall profile envelope variability appears to be the same, the summer profiles appear to typically achieve a higher elevation than winter. Standard deviation values (Figure 102b) are about the same for both profiles overall - around 20 cm or less, indicating that the profile is quite stable. The winter data show a small area of vertical variability during the winter located at the 10 m mark.
There was accretion between 2001-2002 at GO3 (Figure 105), with slight erosion back to 2001 profile shape in 2003. Erosion continued in 2004, lowering the portions of the profile below 1.5 m. Some recovery occurred in 2005-2006. Consistent with other profiles, 2007 resulted in substantial lowering and erosion of the overall profile. Seasonal data at GO3 (Figure 106) show a distinct summer versus winter profile difference, with the entire summer profile being more sediment rich than the winter one. Both profile envelopes are similar, though it seems the winter profile has a bit more variability. The standard deviations along the winter and summer profiles are quite similar, though the winter appears to be a slight bit more variable, on the order of 20 cm vertically (Figure 102c).
The gravel beach at GO4 appears to have gone through slight accretion between 2001 and 2002, especially at the berm area (Figure 107). 2003 saw some erosion of the upper portion of the beach profile - from about the 1.2 m to 3 m contour lines. From 2003-2004, the berm recovered. There was general beach stability through 2005, with the mean profile very similar to the 2004 shape. In 2006, the upper portion of the profile underwent accretion, while the lower portion underwent erosion. The 2007 annualized shape is the leanest, showing the most erosion from all the years data were collected. Seasonal data (Figure 108) indicate that GO4 undergoes some berm variability during the summer months. This berm fluctuates about 20-30 cm for both summer and winter (slightly more in the summer), and is located at the 10 m mark according to standard deviation data (Figure 102c).
Data indicate that Goochs Beach, in general, is somewhat stable. However, it is heavily influenced by storm events, such as the Patriots' Day storm, which removed large volumes of sediment from the profile.
Last updated on January 3, 2008
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