beach cusp

Beach cusps are the individual crescent arcs in a sequence of linked sandbars at the edge of a beach addressed by waves from two directions. An indentation in sand expressing the fanning force of water. Like other sand features such as shoals or spits, the ephemeral beach cusp represents a visible expression of the less visible. At the ocean’s edge, a series of broad, hidden vectors based in prevailing winds, ocean currents, and long swells localized as waves are all expressed in a language available to human perception—a series of rhythmic shapes in beach sand, where water’s deft knife scallops the coast

Kim Stafford