Slide presentation beaches and hurricanes: 1995 in the Eastern Caribbean Islands

Slide 49: Diagram of beach changes, Pinney’s Beach, Nevis

Beach measurements made over several years in the Caribbean islands have shown that while beaches do recover after major storms and hurricanes, the recovery is incomplete and the overall result is erosion or recession of the coastline inland.  This diagram is based on beach measurements in Nevis, the yellow line shows the beach profile in 1988, and the purple line shows the profile in 1995.  In 1988 there was a wide dune behind this beach, in 1995, after two hurricanes, the edge of the dune had retreated 12 metres (39 ft) inland.  This represents a permanent loss, for dunes take many years to form and require a wide area of dry sand beach over which the wind can blow and move sand inland.  Against a predicted background of rising sea levels and more frequent hurricanes, conditions are not favourable for new dune growth.