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This summer there seems to be more rocks up against the cliffs at the beach and less sand. Also the tides seem to be higher, rarely on the minus side and usually plus 3 - 6 feet. Is this usual?
Answer 1:

There is a little seasonal change on beaches due to the fact that runoff on average is greater in winter (storms) than in summer. Because of differences the coastal currents have more or less to work with (as far as movement goes) in summer vs winter although this is just a generalization. so over all one does expect to see different fine scale beach sedimentation differences between summer and winter. As far as the tides per se. These are tied to the motion of Earth around Sun and motion of Moon around Earth so they are pretty cyclic although small differences can arise when conjunctions occur...I dont think there has been anything particularly unusual this summer.


Answer 2:

I'm not familiar with the terminology of tides, so I can't address your second observation. As for the positions of the rocks, they are located there because the water is able to transport objects up there only during situations where the in which are really strong (e.g. storms) and are capable of moving large boulders. Smaller waves wash the sand around, and wash the sand down onto the beach because they don't reach up so high next to the cliffs. Offshore, the sand gives way to mud, where the energy of the water is even less.



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