The beach width (average distance from highway 101 shoulder to mean sea level contour) at Cardiff State Beach, CA.
The minimum average beach width (about 22 m) was during the 2010/11 El Nino. The maximum beach width (about 63m) was immediately after a 2013 beach nourishment. In mid-January 2016, the beach is the narrowest since 2012, before the nourishment. The width is the distance from the backbeach (e.g. rocks bordering HWY 101, seawall, parking lot edge) to MSL (mean sea level) beach elevation. The width is averaged over 1.7 km of coastline, and some locations are relatively wide or narrow. The beach is widest in late summer when waves are small, and narrowest in late winter, after erosive storms. At the end of summer 2012, the beach was about 10 m wider than the typical annual prenourishment maximum (dashed horizontal line). Then, in October of 2012, an additional ~50,000 m^3 of sand was mechanically placed on the beach, increasing the beach width even more, and potentially helping to maintain the wide beach in the following years. The recent July 2015 width is about 40m more than the maximum erosion in Feb 2010 (the last El Nino).
Width of six southern California beaches (see legend) versus time. The width, the distance from the backbeach to MSL (mean sea level) beach elevation, is averaged over a few km alongshore at each beach, and the mean removed. All beaches are widest in late summer when waves are low, and narrowest in late winter, after erosive storms. Beaches were narrowest in Feb 2010 (the last El Nino).