Beach Response and Channel Dynamics at Little River Inlet, North and South Carolina, U.S.A.
Keywords:Tidal inlet, jetties, ebb tidal delta, shoreline response, scour
Little River Inlet is a shallow coastal inlet located on the Atlantic Ocean along the North Carolina- South Carolina border. Construction by the U.S. Army Engineer District, Charleston (SAC), of a dual jetty system at Little River Inlet began in March 1981 and was completed in July 1983. A detailed monitoring program conducted from 1979 through 1992 has documented the performance of the Little River Inlet project. A two-phase analysis of the monitoring data and navigation project was conducted by the Waterways Experiment Station's Coastal Engineering Research Center (CERC). The objectives of the first phase analysis were to summarize beach and nearshore response to the Little River Inlet navigation project and assist SAC in developing disposal plans for maintenance material dredged from the inlet. Additionally, the analysis examined if any action should be taken to open the weir sections of either jetty and evaluated the degree of continued project monitoring. The second phase of CERC's analysis conducted a reconnaissance level review of the post-jetty thalweg evolution and stability, relative inlet hydrodynamics, and scour occurring at the jetty structures. This paper summarizes both phases of the CERC study and performance of the Little River Inlet navigation project.