Abstract

Examination of properly evaluated historical maps of the preurban (that is, 1770 to 1867) sedimentary barrier bordering northern Biscayne Bay in southeastern Florida indicates (1) net shore retreat averaging about 3.0 m/yr in the northern Atlantic portion of the barrier; (2) net spit accretion in two areas to the south, the first averaging about 70 m/yr and the second adding about 1,000,000 m2 to the barrier; (3) the migration and subsequent closing of a tidal inlet by A.D. 1822; (4) the opening of a new tidal inlet sometime between 1829 and 1838; (5) a probable association between these processes and bedrock topography; and (6) the positive value of historical maps as data bases for certain types of coastal change, especially in urban areas.

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