Sunday, March 30, 2014

King Tides Part 2: The San Diego Edition

So I've already talked about the King Tides (the super high tides that occur a few times a year and are a great demo of what sea level rise will look like) and my experience chasing the tides around San Francisco.  About a month later (and two months ago- oops!) I did the same thing in San Diego.  I dragged my intern (Hi Emily!) with me to one of our project sites on Thursday morning (Jan 30) so that she could get out in the field during her short time with us.  We headed to Los Peñasquitos Lagoon which is just north of Torrey Pines along the coast.

Source: Google Maps
The next day, I got up early again to catch the high tide at Kendal Frost Marsh in Pacific Beach along the northeast hump of Mission Bay.

Then, since I'm a HUGE marsh nerd, I drove out to San Dieguito Lagoon on a Saturday to hang out by myself and take time lapse pictures.  Wait, you didn't do that too? :)

The yellow areas are some of the other parts of the marsh that I've worked in.  The red circle is where the time lapse photos were taken.

At Los Pen, as we like to call it, Emily and I trekked around the lagoon and checked out the beach.  The beach was pretty much gone because the water levels were so high.

 Where's the beach?

Sea level rise = beach and bluff erosion
Lagoon mouth from the north (looking south) under a normal tide- we were standing on the sand.

Lagoon mouth from the south (looking north) under a king tide- where we were standing in the picture above is now under water! Note the path north of the lagoon that goes under the bridge.

Looking back into the marsh under a normal tide
Looking back into the marsh under a king tide- crazy how this almost looks like a black and white photo since it was so gloomy out!
This is the path going under the bridge.  Definitely not safe to walk on at this point.  The sign is usually at the beginning of the beach.

At Kendal Frost, most of the marsh was under water.

This is not usually a bay.  The housing on the left is definitely at risk under sea level rise.

Great Blue Heron (I think)

This was a small, dry island where the birds were just hanging out.

At San Dieguito Lagoon, I headed to the beach first and checked out the lagoon mouth.

Stupid people building homes where the water wants to go!

The dog beach at the north end of the lagoon mouth

Just south of the lagoon mouth.  This is normally a beach, but the rock rip-rap and the sea wall are there to protect the (dumb) houses behind it from storm events.

Watching a marsh drain...

10 min later...

10 min after that...

And 10 min after that...
Okay, I know, these time lapse pictures are super lame.  :(  I got carried away at the beach and looking at the other marsh units and got to the site I wanted to see too late! I missed the highest tide, so my pictures just captured the end of the drainage.  I'll just have to go out again next year!

Also, this is the site I've spent a good amount of time at.  Last summer and the summer before, when I was ITF, it was here.  (Same for getting muddy and muddier).

So are you going to come out with me next year to chase the tides?

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