Southeastern Section–56th Annual Meeting (29–30 March 2007)

Paper No. 14
Presentation Time: 1:40 PM




Fifteen highly diverse inlets occur along the southeastern North Carolina coastline between Cape Lookout and Little River Inlet. Eight of the inlets within the study area have been modified and plans are pending for modification of three additional inlets. It is generally recognized that almost all chronic erosion zones are associated with contemporary inlets or historic inlets that have been artificially closed. All developed shorelines are experiencing problems related to inlet-induced erosion, and as such, have drawn attention as communities attempt to mitigate the land loss. Management issues related to tidal inlets have become a focus of concern for regulators due to the need to better regulate development within poorly defined inlet hazard zones and to understand the impact of erosion mitigation scenarios and the associated utilization of inlet-related sand resources. The inlets that have been modified involved the realignment of the ebb channel and dredging of inlet-related sand bodies for beach fill. Data indicate that inlets control the shoreline change patterns for 2 - 3km along the adjacent shorelines. Regardless of the inlet's stability index all are morphological unstable and have the capacity to promote rapid and significant oceanfront changes through complex linkages to the movement of the ebb channel and the attendant shape changes of the ebb-tidal delta. Data are presented from four inlets (Bogue, New River, Rich and Shallotte Inlets) within diverse coastal settings where erosion and mitigation scenarios differ significantly.