Change is the Only Constant

Elliott Heads in 2010

The sand is shifting

The Elliott Heads river mouth estuary is constantly changing, but maybe not for the better. Above is the latest satellite image courtesy of NearMap. Below is a satellite image from a few years earlier (2007) courtesy of Google Maps. Comparing these images shows how the channel is changing. The red outline is the old channel, the yellow outline is the current channel. Not only has the channel moved up river, but it has become narrower - both at the pinch in the middle and at either end. This is potentially a problem because Elliott Heads has become more and more popular for wind and water sports, while at the same time the area of water we all play in is shrinking.

The channel is also more pronounced and deeper off Coonarr (red line). Clearly this is where a significant amount of the water is now flowing, which may lead to the channel silting up even further.

Elliott Heads in 2009

So is this good or bad for us?

Right now it is hard to tell. However all eyes are on a new depression that is forming along the sand spit that extends from Dr Mays Island. The hope is that this will cut deeper and deeper, and eventually replace the existing channel. Right now, I am looking at converting my Starboard Go to a tri-fin with three 250 mm shallow fins, so I can extend my range and reach.

UPDATE (29/4/2011)

Google Maps has updated their satellite image for Elliott Heads. In some ways this is a more useful picture because it shows the high tide, whereas the NearMap image at the top does not. I have overlaid the outlines in exactly the same place. What I find really interesting is how the sand spit on Dr May's island has moved south.

Elliott Heads in 2011

Posted by Henry Thomas, 10 years ago on Monday, February 14, 2011

1 comment:

nightskye said...

I remember the river in the early 1980's and the rivermouth was deep and very dangerous.

Posted 9 years ago on Sunday, February 19, 2012

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