Sediment records of Holocene Sea-level, Storms, and Shoreline Change in Coastal North Carolina

Posted June 22nd, 2010 at 2:58 pm.

Abstract: Heather Taddonio
Mentor: Dr. Barber
As a result of the global climate change, eustatic sea levels are predicted to rise in the coming centuries. Understanding how sea-level rise affected coastal regions in the past can aid current coastal regions of the U.S. and worldwide in preparing plans to adapt to predicted higher sea levels. This project combines a study of past sea-level change as recorded in sedimentary deposits with a geomorphological study of how shorelines responded to those sea-level changes. This study targets marsh deposits lying among a series of low beach ridges on Cedar Island in Pamlico Sound on the central coast of North Carolina. The part of the island containing the beach ridges is approximately 6 kilometers long and 1 kilometer wide and is oriented northwest-southeast. The maximum elevation of most of the beach ridges is between one and three meters. Cores collected on the flanks of the ridges and transecting the low-lying marshes provide a sediment record of environmental conditions over at least the last 3000 years in this area. Samples from the cores are being analyzed for magnetic susceptibility, sediment particle size, and organic carbon content. In addition to constraining regional sea-level change and the local geomorphological development over this period, the data potentially can help determine the timing of major storms, such as hurricanes and northeasters that have affected this area.

Filed under: 2010,Barber, Dr. Don,Taddonio, Heather Tags: by Lisa Klinman

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