Curvature – Brockton Point – Stanley Park Seawall, Vancouver

The curvature of the seawall at the western shoreline of Brockton Point, Stanley Park, Vancouver, Canada. 14 September 2014. (Photo: Hendrik Slegtenhorst)

The curvature of the seawall at the western shoreline of Brockton Point, Stanley Park, Vancouver, Canada. 14 September 2014. (Photo: Hendrik Slegtenhorst)

The point is named after Francis Brockton, the senior engineer aboard the HMS Plumper, a Royal Navy survey sloop commanded by Captain George Henry Richards. A plumper is something that plunges abruptly into water. Brockton discovered coal nearby, and Richards named the waters Coal Harbour.

From the early 1870s until Vancouver’s Mountain View Cemetery opened in 1887, Brockton Point and Deadman’s Island were used as burial sites for British merchant seamen as well as people from Moodyville (which became part of the City of North Vancouver), Hastings Sawmill, and the Granville townsite.

The tides flow quickly here, and standing waves form near shore. Standing waves are caused by friction of the water along the sea floor, and become markedly shorter and higher as the water is drawn over a rise in the sea bed. Thus the waves crest and break in the same spot. They modulate, according to natural law.

Brockton Point is the start of the original Seawall, built to stop the erosion of the shore, by tidal action, in that area. It was a joint project begun, in 1914, between the Park Board and the Government of Canada, that also included erecting the Brockton Point Lighthouse.

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