This study examines the stratigraphy of Onslow Beach, a barrier island centrally-located between Cape Lookout and Cape Fear. Its depositional history is compared to predictions from numerical models based on wave climate and sediment transport. The models imply that the central embayment experiences greater erosion than cape flanks and increased storminess intensifies those trends. Nine paleo-washover fans identified in sediment cores collected along the island revealed rapid transgression rates over the last ~1800 years while a barrier island located near Cape Lookout prograded seaward, which supports the numerical model. Washover fan deposition on Onslow Beach was not correlated with periods of increased storms, but was related to the increase in rate of sea-level rise in the last 150 years. The island is likely more vulnerable to accelerated sea-level rise due to the central location of the island within the embayment and the lack of sediment in this region.
|Advisor:||Rodriguez, Antonio B.|
|Commitee:||McKee, Brent A., Seim, Harvey E.|
|School:||The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill|
|School Location:||United States -- North Carolina|
|Source:||MAI 51/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Climate Change, Geomorphology, Marine Geology, Sedimentary Geology|
|Keywords:||Barrier islands, Cuspate shorelines, North Carolina coast, Sea-level change, Transgression, Washover fans|
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