Effect of Morphological Changes on Tidal Range and Water Quality in Singleton Swash

Singleton Swash is a small tidal creek inlet located in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Like other tidal inlets, Singleton Swash facilitates water exchange between the ocean and the surrounding landscape. The stability of Singleton Swash depends on the coastal processes at work, particularly the relationship between longshore current, sedimentation processes and the tidal prism within the creek. Currently, the mouth of Singleton Swash naturally shifts through time to the south as sediment is deposited in the channel mouth. Over time, the elevation in the channel increases altering the water level within the tidal creek. Increased channel elevation results in restricted water flushing and may promote water column stratification and decreased dissolved oxygen levels indicating poor ecosystem health. This study aims to monitor the morphological change of Singleton Swash and the resulting effect on water level and quality by coupling the use of highly accurate GPS technology and a suite of water quality parameters. Through the comparison of topographic grids, we examine the highest elevations of the creek channel and compare them to variations in tidal level amplitudes as well as water quality and physical properties on a monthly time scale.