Myrtle Beach Geography

Myrtle Beach Geography
Technically a man-made island, Myrtle Beach has been separated from the continental United States since 1936 by the Intracoastal Waterway, forcing the city and area in general to develop within a small distance from the coast. In part due to this separation, the area directly west of Myrtle Beach across the waterway remained primarily rural, whereas its northern and southern ends were bordered by other developed tourist towns, North Myrtle Beach and Surfside Beach.
Since then, the inland portion of the Myrtle Beach area has developed dramatically and the beach itself is developing westward.

Due to strong erosion and tropical cyclones along the Atlantic Ocean, the city is separated from its beach by large dunes populated with sea grasses, which stabilize the sandy soil underneath and act as a natural seawall against storm surge. In conjunction, the city has also renourished the beach's sands several times, with one instance almost immediately followed by the landfalls of hurricanes Hugo and Hazel, necessitating a second replenishment to fill in the quick loss of the first.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 16.8 square miles (43.5 km²), of which, 16.76 square miles (43.5 km²) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (0.12%) is water.
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