Biddeford Pool/ Fortune's Rocks

Team members:  Neil Flathers, Bob MacGillivray, Joe Ferrick,
Tom Bojko, John Hennedy, Jim Beaudry,
Karen Wynne, Bob Melville, Wallace Nutting,
Jeff Keezer, Carolyn Pease


Location

Geological History

Level of Development

Additional Facts

Profile Data

Pictures

References


 
 

Location

Biddeford Pool, Biddeford, consists of two transgressive barriers connecting two bedrock island to the mainland.  Hills Beach to the north and Fletcher Neck to the south, comprise the pair of supratidal tombolos that protect the embayment, or “The Pool”, from the open ocean.  The beaches along Biddeford Pool are generally rocky at the head of the system, while sandy beaches are found along the length of the two barriers.  A sandy-mud tidal flat, incised by a dendritic tidal creek system, creates the backbarrier environment (FitzGerald et al., 1989).
 
 









Geological History

Biddeford Pool was formed by the slow landward migration of barrier beaches (Hulmes, 1981).  The Saco River and sand from glacial bluffs were sources of sediment to the region.  Biddeford Pool has a fairly stable geomorphic configuration, indicating that it will continue to migrate slowly in the future.  Despite its stability, processes such as washover and the potential of inlet switching may cause changes to the washover lobes of the shoreline (Kelley et al., 1989). Most of the sand from the Saco River is deposited along Hills Beach, and very little makes it to Fletcher Neck (Kelley et al., 1989).
 
 

Development Status

Much of Biddeford Pool is highly developed.  Houses line the frontal dune ridge along the western part of Fletcher Neck, commonly known as Fortune Rocks Beach. A seawall extends along most of the beach length to protect homes and property.  The Biddeford beach, at the eastern end of Fletcher Neck, is the only publicly accessible beach in the area (Kelley et al., 1989).  However, a wooden bulkhead cuts off the natural supply of sand to the dunes in this region.  There is a large amount of development along Hills Beach, too, although it is protected from storm waves by the southern Saco jetty.
 
 

Additional Facts

Although salt marshes and ponds back most double tombolos, the largest laggon in the state, Biddeford Pool, is formed by one of these systems.
 
 

Topographic Profiles
 
 
 
 
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Profile 3
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Profile 4
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Pictures
 
 

 

References

Dickson, S.M., in press, Beach and Dune Geology, Mile Stretch Beach, South Point, Biddeford, Maine, Maine Geological Survey Open-File Report (Photo 7-3)

Dickson, S.M., in press, Beach and Dune Geology, Fortunes Rocks Beach, Biddeford Pool, Biddeford, Maine, Maine Geological Survey Open-File Report (Photo 9-2)

Dickson, S.M., in press, Beach and Dune Geology, Fortunes Rocks Beach, Fortunes Rocks, Biddeford, Maine, Maine Geological Survey Open-File Report (Photo 10-4)

FitzGerald, D.M., Lincoln, J.M., Fink, L.K, and Caldwell, D.W., 1989, Morphodynamics of tidal inlet systems in Maine, in:  Studies in Maine Geology, v.5, Quaternary Geology, R.D. Tucker and R.G. Marvinney (eds.), Maine Geological Survey, Augusta, ME, p. 67-96.

Hulmes, L.J., 1981, Holocene Stratigraphy and Geomorphology of the Hills Beach/Fletcher Neck Tombolo System, Biddeford Maine, Northeastern Geology, v. 3, no 3-4, pp. 197-201.

Kelley, J.T., Kelley, A.R., and Pilkey, O.H., sr., 1989, Living with the Coast of Maine, Duke University Press, Durham, NC, 174 p.