Where did the beach go? 10-foot cliff prompts beach closure at Nags Head

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Wednesday, July 25, 2018
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Erosion forms 10 ft cliff on Nags Head beach

NAGS HEAD, NC (WTVD) -- Where did the beach go? That's the question visitors are asking themselves when they arrive at the Grey Eagle public beach access in Nags Head.

A 10-foot erosion cliff formed near Jennette's Pier, which might be hard to imagine unless you are there to see it in person.

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The sand ledge, otherwise known as an escarpment, is believed to have been created by a phenomenon known as perigean spring tides, which happen when the moon was either new or full and is closest to the earth, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA.

"Escarpments are not unusual on the beaches here," explained Roberta Thuman with the Town of Nags Head. "This one is larger than normal due to the high, protective dunes. There is no equipment available to level out the dune. Once the winds turn back to the prevailing southwest, the escarpment will level out."