Shoreline Analysis and Barrier Island Dynamics: Decadal Scale Patterns from Cedar Island, Virginia

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Abstract

Aerial photography, topographic maps, high-resolution satellite imagery, and global positioning system (GPS) data were compiled in ArcMAPTM and analyzed using the Digital Shoreline Analysis System (DSAS) to determine decadal trends of shoreline movement on Cedar Island, Virginia. Shoreline retreat rates for Cedar Island had an alongshore average of -4.1 m/y based on simple endpoint analysis (1852–2007), while the short-term (1994–2007) retreat rates increased to -12.6 m/y. Retreat statistics were further calculated for the time intervals 1852–1910 (-5.1 m/y), 1910-***1962 (-3.5 m/y), 1962-***1980 (-3.9 m/y), 1980-***1994 (-6.5 m/y), 1994–2002 (-12.4 m/y), and 2002-***2006 (213.8 m/y). This analysis indicates that retreat of the Cedar Island shoreline has been accelerating with a notable increase in rate within the years 1980 to 1994. Additionally, the shoreline data confirms that the orientation of the Cedar Island shoreline has rotated through time.

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