Robust regression modeling of shoreline data spanning 1930 to 1990 and covering 1055 km of the Atlantic coast shows that nearly two-thirds of the U.S. east coast shorelines have undergone a significant change in the long-term rates of change between 1950 and 1980. The model results show that 62% of the shorelines have become more erosional or less accretional. The average timing of these reversals (1967) corresponds to a peak in the record of extratropical (northeast) storm frequency and magnitude. These results raise questions regarding the applicability of linear methods for interpreting historical, long-term trends and for predicting future shoreline positions.

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