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Doreen Chavira

Erosion of Southern California (2015-2016)

  • 29 beaches on the West Coast to Southern California, winter beach showing 76% above average erosion, reaching a new record
  • seasonal changes on 29 beaches along approximately 2000 kilometers (1243 miles) of the U.S. West Coast.
  • While the erosion of winter beaches is common with seasonal changes, the extent is more severe during the El Nino events
  • The 2015-2016 was one of three of the strongest in history, along with 1982-1983 and 1997-1998 “The condition of the beach before the winter of 2015 strongly influenced the severity of erosion and the ability of the beach to recover afterward through natural replenishment processes,” (https://www.usgs.gov/news/national-news-release/severe-west-coast-erosion-during-2015-16-el-nino)
  • But as California has had major droughts, this is resulting in lower river flows providing even less sand being transferred to the coast to help sustain beaches.

Description of El Niño

Caused by El Nino

Effect on areas

Before and after (1997-2015)


Winter Beach



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