Storm surge event East London June 2015

The East London Museum has been documenting the effects of high seas and storm surges along the east coast of SA, particularly the coastline north and south of East London for the past 20 years.

During the first week of this month high seas pounded the coast culminating in a strong storm surge on the 5th June 2015. Evidence of this is illustrated in the collage of photos below taken at Chintsa Bay (the day after the storm).

Chintsa Bay 6th June 2015

Chintsa Bay 6th June 2015. Credit: East London Museum

Primary coastal dunes are no longer protected by the formation of embryonic dune formations (with associated pioneering plant species [to stabilise the dunes]) and in some instances the regular storm surges are cutting the dunes back into the dune slacks.

There are recent examples of ‘plugs’ being opened in the primary dunes which drain the dune slacks resulting, in part, in the die-off of various plant and tree species.

Storm Surge Cintsa6

Credit: East London Museum

Changing climatic conditions in the oceans along the coast may contribute to the increased number of storm surges (per unit time) and the higher energy displacement (through wave action) onto the shore-line.

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About East London Museum Science

Conservation Biologist East London Museum South Africa
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