East Grand Beach

Team members:  Roger Allen, Janine Reardon,
Tracy White, Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Toomey


Location

Geological History

Level of Development

Additional Facts

Profile Data

Pictures

References


 
 

Location

East Grand Beach the northern extension of Old Orchard Beach, a 7.3 km long barrier complex that extends, unborken, from Goosefare Brook to the Scarborough River Inlet (Nelson, 1979).  The barrier is divided into two sections, and East Grand Beach is located in the northern section, at the Cumberland/York County line.  Grand Beach generally trends northeast-southwest.  An extensive salt marsh, connecting to the Scarborough River and its tributaries, backs most of the Old Orchard/Grand Beach barrier.  A small section of Old Orchard abuts a sandy glacial upland.
 
 







Geological History

The Old Orchard Beach ridge was not always the smooth, curved crescent shape that it now is. The coast was slightly irregular with rocky promontories, small stream inletrs and a more open Scarobrough Estuary (Farrell, 1972). Before 1859-1868, the Little River Inlet, a tidal reentrant, formed the Old Orchard Beach-Scarborugh town line, as well as the York-Cumberland County boundary.  The inlet was closed when a railroad causeway was constructed.  The Saco River is the main source of sand to the beach, which travels north from the river mouth.  Old Orchard currently appears relatively stable, although shoreline retreat is likely as sea level continues to rise (Kelley et al., 1995).
 
 

Development Status

The quality of East Grand Beach has been greatly modified by humans.  Houses, condominiums, motels and restaurants line the shore from Old Orchard to Grand Beach.  These buildings were constructed on the remnants of the frontal dunes.  Large volumes of sand are buried beneath these relatively indestructible buildings (Kelley et al., 1989).  Five million cubic meters of sand, eroded from Camp Ellis, has been added to Pine Point between 1867 and 1955 (Kelley et al., 1995).
 

Additional Facts

Pine Point was once a barrier island, when the Little River tidal reentrant was contiguous with marshland that drained into the Scarborough River.  It was the only barrier island in Maine (Nelson, 1979).  About 22 x 106 m3 of sand exists in the dunes and beach of Saco Bay, compared with 56 x 106 m3 on the submerged shoreface (Kelley et al., 1995).
 
 

Topographic Profiles
 
 

Profile 1
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Profile 2
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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, Grand Beach, Scarborough, Maine, Maine Geological Survey, Open-File Report (Photo 12-8).

Farrell, Stewart C., 1972, Present Coastal Processes, Recorded Changes, and the Post-Pleistocene Geologic Record of Saco Bay, Maine [Unpublished Ph.D. thesis]: University of Massachusetts, 296 p.

Kelley, J.T., Belknap, D.F., FitzGerald, D.M., Barber, C.D., Dickson, S.M, and vanHeteren, S., 1995, A Sand Budget for Saco Bay, Maine, Maine Geological Survey, Open-File Report 95-1, 40 p.

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.

Kelley, J.T., Shipp, R.C., and Belknap, D.F., 1989, Geomorphology and Late Quaternary Evolution of the Saco Bay Region, Maine Geological Survey:  Studies in Maine Geology, vol. 5, p. 47-65.

Nelson, B.W., 1979, Shoreline Changes and Physiography of Maine’s Sandy Coastal Beaches [Unpublished M.S. thesis]: University of Maine, 303 p.