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Dr. Charles Flagg took another flight over the Breach at Old Inlet on Fire Island on February 4, 2017.  The flyover mosaic is available below.  Dr. Flagg provided the following report:

Saturday was a nice day and the plane had been repaired so I carried out another breach aerial survey.  This trip offered an opportunity to see what impact the nor’easter of January 23rd – 25th had on the breach.  The flight was carried out around low tide in the bay and mid-tide in the ocean.  As a result, more of the sand islands of the flood delta show up while less of those in the breach and just offshore to the west show up.


Overall, there was not as much change as one might have expected from the fairly strong nor’easter.  The eastern shore of the breach which has pushed west for the past several months, seems to have retreated about 100 meters since the January photo so that the breach is now about 300 m wide at its narrowest.  The tide stage might be a factor in this as the January photos were taken near low tide in the ocean.  Interestingly, the exit channel from the breach to the ocean remains heading off to the east.  I certainly had expected that that would have been affected by the storm.  The ebb shoal is not all that visible in these recent photos partially as a result of the tide stage but also because the winds were offshore and so the waves were less.  The sand island offshore and just west of the breach which was clearly evident last week was submerged this time.  Again, probably the result of the ocean’s tide stage.


One area which was impacted by the storm was the area just west of the breach.  This shows up in the comparisons of the area in the attached pdf file.  The over-washes did not reach the bay but one of them did penetrate more than half-way across the island.  The photos also show that the western shore of the breach had eroded some on the southeast corner while the sand plume to the north had increased in size.

West Shore Comparisons (PDF)

Mark Lang has assembled all the geo-referenced photo mosaics into a kml file that can be viewed using Google Earth.  By clicking between images and using the fade in-out button you can clearly see how the inlet is changing with time.  An offline version of the KML file is available as KMZ.

For more information, please visit Dr. Charles Flagg’s website.

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