Thursday, February 2, 2023

Ventura Rivermouth after flood

On January 9, 2023, flows on the Ventura River peaked over 35,000 cfs.  At this flood stage overbank flows enter agricultural lands and flow through the RV Park and were high enough to flow over Highway 101 stopping traffic.  These flows exit to the ocean through the historic second mouth of the river in Emma Wood State park visible to the left in the photo below.  Although the official flows are not yet in, this was perhaps a once-in-a-decade flood similar to 2005.

High flows transport significant amounts of sediment down the river and into the Pacific Ocean.  A large cobble berm formed at the rivermouth and was transported along the shoreline at Surfers Point by the coinciding large Pacific swell.  Subsequent swells and tides continue to rearrange this berm, and sand has moved into the rivermouth with a reduced wave climate.  Surf conditions since the flood indicate nearshore sand bars, and this sand will move onshore making for wide beaches in the summer months.    

Ventura Rivermouth 1-10-2023

Taylor Ranch and RV Park upstream of Ventura Rivermouth 1-10-2023

Ventura Rivermouth 1-18-2023

Surfers Point 1-18-2023
Ventura Rivermouth 1-18-2023

Ventura Rivermouth 1-31-2023
(credit: Dr. K Patsch)

(All photos courtesy Rich Reid except where noted)