St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center > Barrier Island Evolution > Project Overview
St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center
Barrier Island Evolution
Overview of processes and timescales addressed by the Barrier Island Evolution Project.
The Barrier Island Evolution Project addresses a research gap between the short time scale of individual storms (hours to days) and the longer time scales associated with the historic and geologic evolution of the coastal system (decades to millennia). The project integrates two of the Coastal and Marine Geology Program's strengths in studying coastal-change hazards—assessment of storm impacts and characterization of coastal geologic framework (the composition and geometry of rocks and sediment underlying coastal areas). Combining these strengths with modeling of morphology (the shape of the seafloor and land surface) will make possible predictions of barrier-island behavior over time scales useful to resource managers (1–5 years).
- Understand how different beaches, barrier islands, wetlands, and lagoons will respond to future climate, sea level, and storms.
- Quantify the different processes and interactions such that we understand what is important where, when, and why.
- Apply our understanding and capabilities to solve coastal management problems.
- Collect data to describe Chandeleur Island and other barrier island responses to construction, storms, and longer-term processes.
- Use models to predict hydrodynamic, morphologic, and sediment response to ocean forces over different timescales.
- Identify dominant sediment transport processes, pathways, and budgets, and understand the role played by geologic processes and constraints.
- Apply data and broad understanding of barrier island evolution to explain observed evolution and predict future evolution scenarios.
- Observations of barrier island environments.
- Publication of analysis of the morphological, sedimentological, and geological changes.
- Assessments of historical changes and forecast scenarios of barrier island changes.