Dr. Daniel Ciarletta, Mendenhall Research Geologist, and Geologist Julie Bernier are travelling to Otis Pike Fire Island High Dune Wilderness at Fire Island, New York to collect sediment cores for their research on sediment dynamics and barrier island evolution.
Coastal Sediment Availability and Flux team conducting fieldwork at Fire Island, New York
Mendenhall Research Geologist Dr. Daniel Ciarletta and Geologist Julie Bernier of the St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center are collecting sand auger cores from Otis Pike Fire Island High Dune Wilderness at Fire Island, New York as part of the Coastal Sediment Availability and Flux (CSAF) project. For this research at Fire Island, the team’s goals include reconstructing the evolution of this barrier island over the last several centuries and quantifying changes in sediment input and partitioning through time (i.e., how sand is distributed between the terrestrial portion of the barrier and the beach/shoreface).
Barrier islands are constantly changing and are heavily influenced by the movement and amount of sediment available. By collecting cores from barrier islands, the team will analyze sediment grain size and type, and look for other clues about the past to help tell the story of earlier island environments and how they may have fluctuated over time. Using field data to inform models increases the quality of predictions including how islands might respond in the future to changes in sea level, increased frequency and intensity of extreme storms, changing sediment budgets, and resulting affects to people and habitats.