Erosion claims glacial arch at Lucy Vincent Beach

The arch formed by erosion of the Lucy Vincent Beach cliffs collapsed on Sunday.
Photo by Steve Myrick

The arch formed by erosion of the Lucy Vincent Beach cliffs collapsed on Sunday.

The dramatic erosion of the iconic cliffs on Lucy Vincent Beach advanced over the weekend when the arch formed in the glacial deposit collapsed.

The last remaining freestanding column also appears to be in imminent danger of collapse, as several large cracks have formed at its base. Waves pummel the base of the natural structure at high tide.

The erosion intensified during the winter of 2012-2013, when two powerful winter storms battered the south shore of Martha’s Vineyard.

Chilmark town officials warn that the area around the eroding cliffs is hazardous, and ask visitors not to climb on, or stand near the cliffs.

Click “more photos” above to compare pictures of the cliffs on Monday, to pictures from last winter.


  1. Ouch Man says:

    No surprise here.

  2. JamesPi3 says:

    Global warming has its consequences!!

    1. jonathan larche says:

      Weather changes all the time.

      1. JamesPi3 says:

        Seems like our shorelines are changing at a more rapid pace, no?

        1. jonathan larche says:

          Nature operates on a kind of “punctuated equlibrium,” (Steven Jay Gould’s term, not mine); much like baseball. Things are quiet, even boring, and then all hell breaks loose.

  3. peter simon says:

    Last summer I went inside “the cave” several times to photograph it’s awesome formations. I said to myself “God, I hope this doesn’t just cave in on me or someone else” Well, thank God it didn’t!

    1. Quansoo says:

      That cave always terrified me, for years. Glad no one was hurt but if this were August….

    2. UpisLand says:

      The cave WAS off limits. Thanks for not following the rules, ONCE AGAIN, Peter Simon.

      1. peter simon says:

        Sorry….never saw a sign in front of the cave….also, I don’t take anonymous posts very seriously.

        1. UpisLand says:

          The red danger tape that said “keep out” wasn’t enough?

          1. peter simon says:

            My creative passions must have gotten the better of me.

          2. Tom Hammond says:

            some people don;t get it. Although I suffer from many fears, I seem to become fearless (not reckless) when I have a camera in my hand.

  4. Frank Booth says:

    A big change in the cliff was due to hurricane Sandy, which preceded two strong Winter storms