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Regional Shoreline Change

Researchers at the VCR discovered that long-term changes in the positions of barrier island shorelines follow remarkably similar patterns across the U.S. mid-Atlantic coast, suggesting controls by common regional factors. The last major shift in shoreline trends, for example, dates back to 1967 and coincides with an increase in the frequency and severity of coastal storms.

Fenster, M. S. and R. Dolan. 1994. Large-scale reversals in shoreline trends along the U.S. mid-Atlantic coast. Geology 22: 543-546.
Fenster, M. S., and B. P. Hayden. 2007. Ecotone displacement trends on a highly dynamic barrier island: Hog Island, Virginia. Estuaries and Coasts 30(6): 978-988.
Fenster, M. S., R. Dolan, and R. A. Morton. 2001. Coastal storms and shoreline change: signal or noise? Journal of Coastal Research 17(3): 714-720.
Dr. Michael Fenster
Abandoned houses stranded offshore by rapid shoreline change in the VCR LTER site.
M. Fenster.
Changes in storm frequency (left axis) and intensity (right axis) for the mid-Atlantic coast (including the VCR LTER site) over time. Both frequency and intensity peak around 1967, the average date of a major shoreline trend reversal in the region. Storms play a key role in barrier island movement and shoreline change.
Modified from Fenster and Dolan, 1994.

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