SANDS OF TIME

WHAT IS HAPPENING

The increase in water levels is causing drastic beach erosion, much like what we experienced in the mid-1980s and again in the mid-to-late 1990s. During these times homeowners built seawalls and jetties to keep their properties from being destroyed. After the water began to recede, the seawalls and jetties were buried under the beach sand.  With the current rise in water levels the buried structures are reappearing.  I am documenting this event with fine art.

2013

576.02′

January 2013 Lake Michigan was at a record low.
This was the summer just before one of the hardest winters in decades.

SLIDER AT RIGHT:
BEACH IN 2013 (LEFT) SAME BEACH SECTION IN LATE 2014 (RIGHT)

2014

THE WINTER OF 2013/14 = A RECORD REBOUND IN LAKE MICHIGAN’S WATER LEVELS

JAN 2013: 576.02′
NOV 2014: 579.20′
INCREASE OF OVER 3′ OF WATER LEVEL

The winter of 2013/14 brought with it very severe weather, 93% ice coverage, and prolonged days of very cold temperatures. These conditions kept water in Lake Michigan from evaporating, contributing to the drastic rebound of the lake’s levels.

SLIDER AT RIGHT:
BEACH IN LATE 2013 (LEFT) SAME BEACH SECTION IN EARLY 2014 (RIGHT)

2015

WATER LEVELS CONTINUED TO RISE, AND BEACHES CONTINUED TO DISAPPEAR

JAN 2013: 576.02′
NOV 2014: 579.20′
JULY 2015: 579.82′
INCREASE OF ALMOST 4′ OF WATER LEVEL

The following winter produced similar weather patterns, and continued the rising water levels due to ice coverage and prolonged cold spells.

SLIDER AT RIGHT:
BEACH IN LATE 2015 (LEFT) SAME BEACH SECTION IN EARLY 2016 (RIGHT)
It’s impossible to get into the same positions to get the same image, due to erosion and water.

2016

MORE OF THE SAME

JAN 2013: 576.02′
APRIL 2016: 579.92′
INCREASE OF ALMOST 4′ OF WATER LEVEL

Because the previous winter was an El Niño year, the lake’s ice coverage was less than 30% which should have allowed a considerable amount of water to evaporate, but the opposite seems to have happened. As of this writing Lake Michigan’s water level is higher today than it was in December of 2015.

SLIDER AT RIGHT:
BEACH IN AUG 2014 (LEFT) SAME BEACH SECTION IN AUG 2016 (RIGHT)

2017

JULY 2017: 580.76′

LAKE LEVELS INCREASED FROM APRIL BY ALMOST ONE FOOT. HISTORICALLY THE LAKE’S LEVEL PEAKS IN JULY, BUT IN 2013 IT PEAKED IN NOVEMBER. STAY TUNED TO FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENS THIS YEAR.

SLIDER AT RIGHT:
PRE-DUNE IN 2014 (LEFT) SAME SECTION IN AUGUST 2017 (RIGHT)

2018

STAY TUNED

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AS YOU LOOK THROUGH THESE PHOTOS, REMEMBER THAT ALL THESE SEAWALLS AND JETTIES WERE ONCE COVERED WITH SAND, AND WILL BE AGAIN WHEN THE WATER RECEDS.

CONTACT

Need something different than what I have on my site?
Want to book a photo session?
Contact me: 616-560-3834 tony@tonyreidsma.photography

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