Saturday, April 6, 2013

4/6/13 Report - Sudden Erosion Appears on the Treasure Coast & More on Swash Clusters.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the excluxive use of

Rio Mar Today.
Submitted by Dan B.
The wind shifted this morning.  It was coming out of the north/northeast and we had some erosion.

To the right you can see some cuts at Rio Mar.  Thanks Dan!

And below is Normandy Beach and the new sand at Jensen Beach leaving already.

Joan T. sent those photos.  Thanks Joan.

The Normandy cut, Joan says was from six inches to two feet.

The surf was only 2 - 3 feet today.  That illustrates once again what I've said about the wind and wave direction being just as important as the size of the waves for creating erosion.

We've seen that over and over again - very often with big seas creating no erosion at all.

Yesterday I went back to the spot where I found the spike, and the sea picked up just as I got there, which kept me from working the spot the way I wanted too.

Jensen Beach.
Submitted by Joan T.

Timing is important.  Sometimes you hit it right and sometimes not.

The surf is predicted to increase again tomorrow - up to something like 3 - 4 feet.

If the wind and wave angles remain the same, that might improve conditions a bit.

Every little bit helps.

If you've been following the discussion on the mystery objects 
Normandy Beach
Submitted by Joan T.

and Toledo Scale Company, I found that that name was used first in 1912, but there are other objects being found at the same location that might be older.  Quite a variety of different metals and objects are being found.

There are a lot of good mysteries out there to be dug up, and a lot of good stories.  Maybe we'll have more on that one some time in the future.

The spot where I found the copper spike the day before yesterday was what I called a "swash cluster."  It held a variety of ages and types of objects that were getting exposed at the very front of the beach.

Swash clusters accumulate typically south of sites where there was a lot of action, and they often occur at small bends in the beach.  They are not below obvious cuts, but below very small dips that would not necessarily be obvious at first glance.  There is typically, however, a bit of a dip, which you can usually notice by the fact that the water is coming up on the beach there a few more feet than at neighboring areas.

So to summarize so far, SCs typically occur to the south of where a lot of action takes place, and items get washed south over a relatively long time period, and accumulate at what appear to be small bends in the beach, and are sometimes visible as small (and I mean small) dips.

Another sign of a possible swash cluster is courser material on the beach surface at the spot, including everything from shell sand, to larger shells and rocks.  You'll often also find older (not necessarily real old) coins near the surface of the sand at a swash cluster.

Another typical feature of a swash cluster is a one to two foot cliff of sand, rocks and shells at the low tide water line, usually with a small dip in the water directly in front of the cliff at the front of the beach.

From time to time the cluster will be covered and uncovered.  One day the spot will be visible, showing the typical tell-tale signs, and the next day it might be covered by an additional inch, or two, or many inches of sand.  The sand covering will again, sooner or later, be pealed away.  The result is that the spot, or cluster, will appear and disappear at the same location from time to time over days, weeks, months, or years.

I'll try to make an illustration of this for further discussion in the near future.

To be clear, swash clusters are not the same as coin lines or coin holes, which I've talked about several times in the past.

The north winds that we are having today on the Treasure Coast are predicted to shift tomorrow to a more easterly direction.  Too bad.  Maybe we'll still have some more erosion.

Low tide tomorrow will be around 12:30 PM.

Happy hunting,