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Ocean Beach Coastal Processes Study
U.S. Geological Survey
Open-File Report 2006-1140

Coastal Monitoring of the May 2005 Dredge Disposal Offshore of Ocean Beach, San Francisco, Calif.

By Patrick L. Barnard and Daniel M. Hanes


Photograph of Essayons ship courtesy of Peter Mull of the Army Corps of Engineers


Ocean Beach, California, contains an erosion hot spot in the shadow of the San Francisco ebb tidal delta south of Sloat Boulevard that threatens valuable public infrastructure as well as the safe recreational use of the beach. In an effort to reduce the erosion at this location and avoid hazardous navigation conditions at the current disposal site (SF-8), a new plan for the management of sediment dredged annually from the main shipping channel at the mouth of Francisco Bay was implemented in May 2005 by the United States Army Corps of Engineers, San Francisco District (COE). The objective for COE was to perform a test dredge disposal of ~230,000 m3 (300,000 yd3) of sand just offshore of the erosion hot spot, in depths between approximately 9 and 14 m. This disposal site was chosen because it is in a location where the strong tidal currents associated with the mouth of San Francisco Bay and waves can potentially feed sediment toward the littoral zone in the reach of the beach that is experiencing critical erosion. The onshore migration of sediment from the target disposal location might feed the primary longshore bar or the nearshore zone, and provide a buffer to erosion that peaks during winter months when large waves impact the region. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in collaboration with the Sea Floor Mapping Lab (SFML) of California State University, Monterey Bay, monitored the initial bathymetric evolution of the test dredge disposal site and the adjacent coastal region from May 2005 to November 2005. This paper reports on this monitoring effort and assesses the short-term coastal response.

Download Open-File Report 2006-1140 as a 27-page PDF file (7.4 MB)

For questions about the content of this report, contact Patrick Barnard

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Maintained by: Michael Diggles
Created: July 28, 2006
Last modified: February 3, 2007 (mfd)