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Beaches form where wave action erodes shorelines creating an intertidal bench of mobile sediment
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Feeder bluff.jpg

Beaches dominate much of Puget Sound’s shoreline. They are characterized by the active transport of sediment by wave action. They can be divided into those associated with coastal bluffs, where the coastline has retreated landward, and those associated with barrier beaches, where sediment has been deposited seaward of the original coastline. Barriers are numerous and include spits, tombolos, cuspate forelands and a variety of other forms. Most Puget Sound beaches (other than the pocket beaches along rocky coasts) exhibit net longshore transport of sediment and the development of discrete littoral drift cells, within which sources and sinks for sediment and a direction of net transport can be defined. (from Shipman 2008)

Beaches are organized into sites based on the extent littoral drift cells. The 2500 miles of Puget Sound shoreline has been divided into 744 distinct littoral cells where the presence of bluff-backed beach indicates the likely presence of sediment input and transport along retreating coastal bluffs (Cereghino et al 2012).

Littoral drift cells are units of beach that include a source of sediment, conveyance of sediment along the shoreline, and a sink for sediment, either at a convergence zone where two drift cells merge, or offshore below the depth of wave action. Shipman 2008 differentiates between beach systems with littoral drift, and pocket beaches where sediment is relatively contained.


Beach Topics

The following pages summarize topics associated with beaches. A topic page encompasses a body of knowledge and referenced several efforts and documents.

Core Beach Topics:

Other Beach topics:

Beach Sites and Places

The following sites are in beaches:

Beach Restoration Efforts

Other Beach Efforts

Beach Documents

The following pages cite documents about beaches:

The following beach documents are uploaded to this wiki: