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History of Eastern United States Coast Barrier Islands - Research Paper Example

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In the paper “History of Eastern United States Coast Barrier Islands,” the author examines Barrier islands, which are important features of the coastal areas and they have served the purpose of protecting the coastal shoreline from hurricanes and other storms…
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History of Eastern United States Coast Barrier Islands
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Download file to see previous pages The Native Americans first occupied these barrier islands. They were later taken over by the European settlers for their recreational and touristic pursuits. However, they have diminished in size and retreated in the past years due to rising sea level, diminishing sediment, storms, and human interference. Extensive human settlement in these areas has raised concerns regarding the loss of habitat. Although vulnerable, these barrier islands are very important economically, serving as areas for tourist development, the source of food, and employment. (Keywords: barrier islands, rising sea level, storms) Table of Contents Abstract 2 Table of Contents 3 Barrier Islands 4 Types of Barrier Systems 5 Formation of Barrier Islands 7 The Historical Changes in the Mississippi-Alabama Barrier Islands 9 Retreating and Diminishing In Size of the Gulf Coast Barrier Islands 9 Activities on Eastern United States Coast Barrier Islands 11 The Importance of the Eastern United States Coast Barrier Islands 12 References 15 History of Eastern United States Coast Barrier Islands Barrier Islands Barrier islands are defined as thin linear mobile strips of sand measuring up to around 10 – 15 metres (30 – 50 feet) above the sea level. They usually create chains situated a number of miles offshore alongside the many passive margins. The back barrier region separates the barrier island from the mainland and shallow bays, marshes, estuaries, or lagoons usually occupy it. Barriers are created by the vertical accumulation of the sand from wind and waves action. Barrier islands are called so because they signify the shoreline natural protection from the forces of tsunamis, tides, currents, and waves from the core ocean. However, the majority of the barrier islands have been turned into resort-type living and beautiful beaches (Kusky 2008, 5). The development of the barrier islands characterizes one of the most dangerous trends in the coastal zones. This is because barriers are jutted mobile strips of sand moving in response to the changing storms, tides, coastal currents, and sea levels. Storms are able to move the complete sandy substrate out from the underneath of the tall buildings. Kusky (2008, 6) states that “the size of barrier islands ranges from narrow and discontinuous strips of sand that may be only a few hundred feet wide, too large islands that extend many miles across and also in length.” The length and the width are calculated from the existing amount of sediment and the balance between the tidal and wave energy. Majority of the barriers are built from sand (sand from the eroded coastal cliffs, deposited by rivers along the delta systems or sand left from the glaciations). Barrier islands are supposed to be discontinuous to permit water from the tidal changes to get back to the sea along the tidal inlets systems (Kusky 2008, 6). The sub-environments of barrier islands are classified the same as those of beaches. These sub-environments include barrier interior, landward interior, and the beach. The beach face of the barrier is the most vibrant section of the island. It absorbs energy from the tides and waves and responds much like the mainland beaches. The beach backside of many barrier islands are marked by a foredune ridge or along frontal, followed landward by the secondary dunes. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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