Shell Island Evolution

by J. C. Chang, Brown & Root U.S.A. Inc, Houston, United States,
C. B. Pettersson, Brown & Root U.S.A. Inc, Houston, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Zone '91


In 1979, Shell Island was overtopped by Hurricane Bob breaching the barrier island with an opening that now has increased to a width of approximately 2.7 kilometers. Saltwater intrusion and wave action from the Gulf of Mexico through this opening is seriously affecting the estuarine bay systems and their surrounding wetlands. A coastal engineering study was undertaken to determine possible means to restore and preserve the barrier island. The geomorphological history of Shell Island was studied using CADD-based GIS compilation of records spanning a 150 year period. The documented movements of the barrier island demonstrate the natural shoreline retreat process as well as the effects of man-made shore protection in the zone of near-shore sediment transports.

Subject Headings: Islands | Sediment transport | Water resources | Information systems | Computer aided design | Wetlands (coastal) | Mapping | Aquatic habitats | Gulf of Mexico

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