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Book Chapter

Back-Barrier Response to Sea-Level Rise, Eastern Shore of Virginia1

By
Kenneth Finkelstein
Kenneth Finkelstein
Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Gloucester Point, Virginia 23062
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Marie A. Ferland
Marie A. Ferland
Coastal Engineering Research Center, U.S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station, P.O. Box 631, Vicksburg, Mississippi 39180
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Published:
January 01, 1987

Abstract:

The barrier and back-barrier environments of Virginia were examined to determine the effects of sea-level change on the resulting stratigraphy. Relative sea-level rise and/or a local sediment deficit have caused the retreat of these barrier islands during the Holocene. The results, reflected by the stratigraphy, are a narrowing of the back-barrier region, a decrease in the tidal prism with a probable constriction of inlets, and an increase in the infilling of marshes and tidal flats associated with calmer water conditions.

Core data show the progressive fine-grained infilling of the back-barrier system. As infilling proceeds, the general back-barrier environment passes from a higher energy lagoon to a lower energy salt marsh and tidal flats. The sedimentary pattern depicts a fining-upward “regressive” stratigraphy behind the receding barriers.

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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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