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An Analysis of Coastal Recession Models: North Carolina Coast

By
Orrin H. Pilkey
Orrin H. Pilkey
Department of Geology and Marine Laboratory, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina 27708
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Thomas W. Davis
Thomas W. Davis
Department of Geology and Marine Laboratory, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina 27708
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Published:
January 01, 1987

Abstract:

Using the North Carolina barrier island shoreline as the test area, a variety of simple geometric recession models has been applied to predict shoreline erosion rates for various sea-level rise scenarios. All sea-level rise scenarios assume no acceleration in rate of rise. South of Cape Lookout, the Bruun Rule, Generalized Bruun Rule and the slope of the migration surface all lead to similar recession predictions. North of Cape Lookout, the slope of the migration surface predicts a much greater recession than Bruun-related models. This suggests the possibility that the islands are in an “out-of-equilibrium position” with respect to present sea level. If this is the case, the possibility exists that very rapid migration of the northern islands will soon occur.

The assumptions used in the present mathematical models depicting shoreline retreat are generally weak. Better models are needed, especially for shorelines where recession is part of the barrier island migration process. The large number of types of islands in a wide variety of geologic and oceanographic settings makes a universally applicable model difficult, if not impossible, to formulate.

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Contents

SEPM Special Publication

Sea-Level Fluctuation and Coastal Evolution

Dag Nummedal
Dag Nummedal
Department of Geology and Geophysics Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Orrin H. Pilkey
Orrin H. Pilkey
Department of Geology Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
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James D. Howard
James D. Howard
Skidaway Institute of Oceanography Savannah, Georgia
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SEPM Society for Sedimentary Geology
Volume
41
ISBN electronic:
9781565760950
Publication date:
January 01, 1987

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