Dr. Charles Flagg of Stony Brook University has been monitoring the Old Inlet Breach created from Superstorm Sandy ever since it opened in late October 2012.
Dr. Flagg conducted another aerial survey over the Inlet last week and filed the report below:
Sunday April 9th was a clear and low wind day and perfect for another aerial photo run to the breach.
The flight took place around 10 am EDT, during a rising tide in the bay and near mid-tide in the ocean.
The apparent retreat of the eastern shoreline by some 50 meters relative to the March photo appears to be mostly the result of the differences in tidal stage and the gradually slope of shore there.
Overall, the situation looks much as it did in March but there are some subtle changes appearing in the channels through the breach.
Most important is the continuing shift in the main channel through the breach.
For some time the main channel passed just south of Pelican Island, out along the western shore and then, oddly, discharging into the ocean toward the east.
In the last couple of months there appears to be a greater amount of flow along the north shore of eastern Fire Island.
In the past, this pathway was blocked by the shoals in the breach. But those shoals look to be eroding while there has been a build-up of a shoal just south of Pelican Island.
Those changes seem to be shifting the main channel to the south.
While this change occurred in the breach, in the past month the discharge channel through the ebb shoal has shifted to a more southerly orientation, perhaps as a result of the recent nor’easters we have experienced.
The evolution of the inlet has been well documented by Dr. Flagg, visit his Great South Bay Project website for more information.
Fire Island and Beyond has built up a fairly significant library of posts about Old Inlet, click here for more.