POTENTIAL GEOMORPHIC CONSEQUENCES OF WAVE CLIMATE ALTERATIONS ALONG CUSPATE COASTLINES
We obtained shorelines from a suite of sources for this location and used the Digital Shoreline Analysis System (DSAS) to calculate shoreline change rates for historic (pre-1975) and recent (post-1975) time periods. The 1975 breakpoint was chosen to correspond with the timing of reported increases in hurricane-generated (summer) wave heights. Initial results suggest that the influence of shoreline stabilization efforts (primarily beach nourishment) has overwhelmed any wave-climate change response that may otherwise have been detectable surrounding Cape Fear, NC. Coastline Evolution Modeling (CEM) simulations that include similar patterns of nourishment produce shoreline change rate differences comparable to our observations and beach nourishment trends that match our observations best when an increasingly high-angle wave climate change is included. This work suggests that in areas of increasing wave energy, shoreline stabilization efforts may temporarily mask the effects of changing wave conditions on coastline response, but that changes in coastal response may be discernible via changes in shoreline stabilization effort.