Friday, June 16, 2017
The dynamic coast
I've been geeking out lately on Google's Earth Engine time lapse tool, which I first learned about a few years back, and which is a startling accomplishment in and of itself. Basically Google has hoovered up and integrated every Landsat image ever collected to create a continuous time lapse of the earth's surface dating back to 1984. While those imagery are fairly coarse resolution (around 30m in most cases), they easily pick up large-scale coastal changes and coastal sediment dynamics (like the above, from the Pysht estuary on the Strait of Juan de Fuca where you can actually see fluvial sediment being transported on-shore over decadal time-scales)...which has led to my geekery with the tool. Here are a few highlights from coastal Washington (with credit to Hugh Shipman for pointing to many of these awesome locations).
Above, the Elwha, with a few highlights, including of course the massive flux of sediment and formation of new estuary/river mouth bar complexes associated with dam removal, and the formation and transport of a few cuspate foreland type features on the east side of the delta.
oh man, the Dungeness River delta and spit...so much going on. Westward transport of sand bars off of the delta, extension and evolution of the Spit, on-shore migration of off-shore bars...so very cool.
Grays Harbor inlet...so much going on here.
but maybe not so much as the Willapa Bay inlet, which also features Washington State's slow-moving erosion disaster at the neighborhood/town of North Cove:
Useless Bay on Whidbey Island is just an absolute conveyor belt of sand waves moving along the shallow sub-tidal:
and check out the Stillaguamish snaking into Port Susan:
Its not quite coastal (though it IS related) - watch glaciers on Mt Olympus shrink before your eyes:
And similarly, not quite coastal, but Oso: