Barrier Islands: Dynamic Coastal Landforms Requiring Complex Management Decisions

by Donald K. Stauble, US Army Engineer Waterways, Experiment Station, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Barrier Islands: Process and Management


Barrier islands and spits are found along ten to twenty percent of the world's coastline, and are the predominant coastal landforms composing about eighty-five percent of the east and gulf coast of the United States. Barrier shorelines are also found along the Great Lakes and Pacific coast. They have a wide variety of geomorphic configurations. The rapid development that has been experienced over the past few decades on coastal regions in general, and barrier systems in particular, has led to conflicting uses, overdevelopment and the need for erosion mitigation. A full understanding of the nature of barrier coasts from a systems approach including processes responsible for their origin, development and maintenance is required to provide guidance for predicting probable change in these barrier islands and spits.

Subject Headings: Coastal processes | Barrier islands | Coastal management | Gulfs | Shoreline | Lakes | Dispute resolution | Erosion | United States | Great Lakes

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