Cross Shore Variations in Heavy Minerals in Beaches of the Barrier Dominated Southeast Atlantic Coast

by Edward P. Meisburger, US Army Engineer Waterways, Experiment Station, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Barrier Islands: Process and Management


Cross shore beach sample sets from 102 locations along the barrier dominated Atlantic coast from Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, to Palm Beach, Florida were studied to determine if there were systematic differences in heavy mineral abundance and species frequency distribution between sampling stations on each transect line and between barrier and mainland segments. Only the more commonly occurring heavy minerals species were counted; these were rutile, garnet, staurolite, epidote, amphibole, and tourmaline. On each transect, samples were taken at the step, the existing limit of uprush, berm crest, mid-berm and inland limit of the beach. The weight percent of the heavy mineral fraction was found to be consistently and substantially higher in backshore and berm crest samples than in foreshore samples from the same transect. Additional aspects of the study are discussed.

Subject Headings: Minerals | Beaches | Shores | Barrier islands | Frequency distribution | Berms | Littoral zones | Oceanography | North Carolina | Florida | United States

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