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Georgia’s coastline is composed of a series of short, wide, mixed-energy (tide-dominated) barrier islands, each backed by extensive marsh, topped with mobile dunes, and flanked by deep inlets. Many of the islands, particularly those along the southern Georgia coast, consist of Pleistocene cores surrounded by mobile deposits that attached during the Holocene sea-level transgression. Positioned within the head of the funnel-shaped South Atlantic Bight, tidal ranges here commonly reach ~2–3 m. As a result, inlets are numerous and the back-barrier environment hosts nearly 400,000 acres of salt marsh. Today, many of the barriers are transgressive, and hard structures such as revetments and groins are becoming increasingly more common to stabilize shorelines along the four developed islands. This field guide presents evidence of island formation, modern ecologic function, and likely future changes for three island groups: (1) Blackbeard, Cabretta, and Sapelo Islands; (2) Sea Island and St. Simons Island; and (3) Jekyll Island. The field trip provides evidence of the Pleistocene-age island cores, the natural southward migration of the mobile Holocene-age sandy shorelines, and the impacts of storm erosion and hard structures built to combat that erosion. This field guide serves as the static, print companion to an online virtual field trip (https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/0aa3fd921cc4458da0a19a928e5fa87c).

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