Wind and waves

The dominant forces affecting Adelaide's beaches are the wind and waves. Together these set up a northward drift of sand along the coast, although sand can be moved in other directions under different wind conditions. This movement of sand along the coast is known as littoral drift.

It is estimated that between 40,000 and 70,000 cubic metres of sand is moved north each year along the eroding coast between Brighton and Semaphore, with different rates at each location. Only a limited amount of sand (about 5,000 cubic metres per year) enters the Adelaide beach system from the south at Kingston Park.

During coastal storms, large quantities of sand can be eroded causing considerable damage to near shore, beach and dune areas.

More information 

Refer to our reference material page.