Southeastern Section - 62nd Annual Meeting (20-21 March 2013)

Paper No. 9
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-5:30 PM


MIDDLETON, Adam R., Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA 30460, KILLINGSWORTH, Albert, Geology and Geography, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA 30460 and JACKSON Jr, Chester W., Department of Geology and Geography / Applied Coastal Research Lab, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA 30460,

Estuarine shorelines are found within mobile coastal environments that change both spatially and temporally in response to processes such as seasonal wave climate, impacts of large storms such as hurricanes, and sea level change. With increasing development and armoring along estuarine/upland shorelines, rates of coastal erosion can often increase and become exacerbated by anthropogenic activities in addition to natural processes. The estuarine shoreline in the Lowcountry of South Carolina has seen an increase in residential and commercial development that will continue to rise in the future. An increasing number of artificial structures like docks, bridges, and causeways will continue to be built to meet the demands of the rising population. The integrity of some of these structures along with the structures that have already been there for years may be compromised due to erosion. In order to reduce the risk of injury or harm, detection of these structures is important. The current project incorporates geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing techniques with aspects of public health and environmental equity to assess the vulnerability of these structures. Historic shorelines were derived from a range of aerial photography and rates of erosion were calculated using AMBUR. Structures in the study area were also identified, digitized, and classified using a new classification scheme developed in an earlier phase of the project. By overlaying the rates of erosion and accretion with the shoreline structures shapefile, structures that are at risk of deterioration can be identified. This project holds many public health implications some of which include helping identify individuals and communities that might be at risk due to deteriorating structures, informing those at risk of the hazards of coastal erosion and provide mitigation strategies, and making sure that proper coastal management techniques are used in the future.