Shoreline Response of Northern New Jersey Barrier System

by Laurel T. Gorman, US Army Corps of Engineer, United States,
David W. Reed, US Army Corps of Engineer, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Barrier Islands: Process and Management


The barrier island system along northern New Jersey coastline was evaluated for changes in shoreline trends, based on recent shoreline mapping and in support of U.S. Army Engineer, New York District shore protection projects. The study area encompasses three geomorphic compartments that include: an active, compound spit between Sandy Hook to Sea Bright; historic barrier peninsula between Sea Bright to Monmouth Beach; and a headland coastline between Monmouth Beach to Shark River Inlet. A shoreline data base that included 11 surveys dating 1853-1985 was established to analyze average shoreline change, maximum shoreline change, and standard deviation over spatial and temporal scales. During the 149-year study period, the shoreline retreated at a mean rate of 0.8 m/year. The general pattern of recent shoreline movement and sediment distribution appears to respond to several factors: sediment starvation, increase in storm activity, relative rise in sea level, construction of coastal structures, net northerly littoral drift, and offshore transport. Commercial development in this highly populated area has had an important role in the shoreline evolution of this complex barrier island chain.

Subject Headings: Shoreline protection | Barrier islands | Beaches | Islands | Coastal management | Sediment transport | Littoral drift | Shores | United States | New Jersey | New York

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