Northeastern Section–41st Annual Meeting (20–22 March 2006)

Paper No. 1
Presentation Time: 8:05 AM


FENSTER, Michael S., Environmental Studies/Geology, Randolph-Macon College, Ashland, VA 23005,

Coastal scientists, planners, and managers use shoreline change data to monitor coastal responses and to establish regulatory policies such as coastal setbacks. This paper examines, in light of inherent data base limitations, what shoreline change data reveal about process-response links in natural coastal systems and the effects of human activities on those systems. While linear mathematical analyses of shoreline change data provide monotonic models of long-term migration rates of change and direction, robust inductive inference modeling and case influence statistics can reveal both regularities and irregularities in the observed data. Consequently, these robust analyses improve capabilities of linking shoreline responses to processes by providing a more detailed representation of historical trends. This paper examines both regional and site-specific process-response links along the U.S. mid-Atlantic coast including Hatteras Island, Virginia Beach, Hog Island, Assateague Island, and Fenwick Island. In particular, shoreline change analyses are used to assess the impact of sea-level rise, coastal storms, tidal inlets, sediment transport patterns, and anthropogenic factors such as beach nourishment on coastal systems.