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Willard Beach, South Portland
Background geology and characteristics
Annual and seasonal beach profile changes
Unfortunately, the majority of data collected for profiles at Willard Beach was not available through the online database, and therefore much has been omitted from this analysis. Data were available for WI1, WI3 and WI4, and are included herein. No data were available for WI2, WI5, or WI6. Subsequent data, once incorporated into the database, will be included in updated editions of this report.
At WI1, only data from 2000 were available. The averaged profile (Figure 6) shows a relatively prominent berm about 10 m in width, positioned at approximately the +0.5 m contour. This profile also represents the available seasonal data, since only 1 profile that was collected was available for analysis (June 2000).
At WI3, data were available for parts of 2001 and 2002. Mean profiles (Figure 7) show that the entire profile accreted from 2001 to 2002. Seasonal data (Figure 8) indicate that both the winter and summer profiles have a wide berm, with little change until 0 m NAVD (at 75 m from the mark), where the summer profile tends to have more sediment. Standard deviation data (Figure 9a) indicate marked variability at the 55 m mark in both summer and winter profiles, but notably summer (variations up to 35 cm). Offshore sand storage during winter (at 110 m) varies to about 35 cm vertically as well, indicating that the sediment that is lost from the beach berm area in the summer is stored offshore in the winter each season.
The beach at WI4 had data available from 2001 to 2002. Here, the profile appears to have lost some sediment at the base of the dune (at the 2.5 m NAVD elevation), but gained sediment down the rest of the profile (Figure 10). Seasonally, a slightly larger berm is evident in the summer, with both profiles having very small profile envelopes (Figure 11). Variability is minute; standard deviation values for both summer and winter are on the order of 10 cm or less (Figure 9b). This indicates seasonal stability of the profiles.
Data that were available for analysis show that the enclosed littoral system at Willard Beach undergoes typical seasonal changes (i.e., winter and summer profile shapes). Overall, the system is relatively stable, with sediment that is eroded from the dunes and profile during the winter returning in the summer months. Although it is not included herein, analysis of the beach was completed by MGS after the Patriots' Day Storm in 2007 (Slovinsky, 2007). This indicated substantial horizontal and volumetric losses along the dune and the beach. Subsequent profiling of the beach will help determine whether or not Willard Beach effectively recovers from this event.
Last updated on January 3, 2008
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