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Coast and Beach

Barrier Islands

Long, linear islands parallel to the shore are common along the Atlantic coast. Attractive sites for resorts and real estate developments, these barrier islands are in flux. A hurricane can drive storm waves over low spots, cutting islands in two. Conversely, migration of sand can extend a spit across the channel between two islands, merging them into one.

Interruptions in sand supply can result in erosion. This has happened off the coast of Maryland, where Assateague Island has become thinner and moved shoreward since jetties were installed at Ocean City, just to the north.

Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Cluster compound to ConcupiscenceCoast and Beach - Observing Erosion And Deposition, Emergent Coasts, Submergent Coasts, The Sand Budget, Barrier Islands