Disturbance of beach sediment by off-road vehicles Article

Anders, FJ, Leatherman, SP. (1987). Disturbance of beach sediment by off-road vehicles . 9(3), 183-189. 10.1007/BF02449950

cited authors

  • Anders, FJ; Leatherman, SP


  • A three-year investigation was undertaken to examine the effects of off-road vehicles (ORVs) on the beach at Fire Island, New York. Within the National Seashore over 45,000 vehicle trips per year are concentrated in the zone seaward of the dune toe. The experimental approach was adopted in order to assess the environmental effects of ORVs. Specially developed instrumentation was used to measure the direct displacement of sand by vehicles traversing the beach. Direct displacement data were reduced graphically and analyzed by stepwise linear regression. The results of 89 field experiments (788 cases) showed that slope, sand compaction, and number of vehicle passes in the same track were the principal factors controlling the measured net seaward displacement of sand. The data suggest that ORV use levels within the National Seashore could be contributing to the overall erosion rate by delivering large quantities of sand to the swash zone (max. of 119,300 m3/yr). However, with proper management downslope movement of sand could be reduced by an order of magnitude. While vehicular passage over the open beach displaces sand seaward, it is not known if such activity actually increases the amount of erosion, measured as net loss to the beach face. © 1987 Springer-Verlag New York Inc.

publication date

  • October 1, 1987

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

start page

  • 183

end page

  • 189


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