Geologic and Morphologic Evolution of Coastal Margins

Science Center Objects

A combination of geophysics, sediment sampling, and chronology techniques are used to characterize the regional geomorphologic response of coastal systems to environmental changes.

A perspective model of the morphology and geologic framework near Petit Bois Island showing the relationships between seafloor f

A perspective model of the morphology and geologic framework near Petit Bois Island showing the relationships between seafloor features and the subsurface. The barrier islands rest on the island plaftorm. Petis Bois Pass and offshore shoals are clearly visible from the acoustic surveys. The bathymetry, sidescan sonar, and sediment cores provide information about the extent and texture of the seafloor features. In the subsurface, positions of various features, such as buried channels, can be seen relative to the seafloor morphology. (Public domain.)

The Geologic and Morphologic Evolution of Coastal Margins (GeoEvo) project seeks to understand the historic (years to decades) and geologic (decades to millennia) evolution of coastal systems. Investigations utilize a combination of geophysics, sediment sampling, and chronology techniques to characterize the regional geomorphologic response of coastal systems to environmental changes. Understanding how and why coasts have changed in the past can provide insight into modern coastal behavior, future coastal evolution, the extent and quality of sediment resources, and spatial variability in the resilience of coastal ecosystems, all of which inform coastal resource management.

Geologic Evolution of Cat Island, Mississippi

The geologic evolution of Cat Island has been influenced by deltaic, lagoonal/estuarine, tidal, and oceanographic processes, resulting in a complex stratigraphic record.

Science Support for the Mississippi Coastal Improvement Project

Since 2007, the USGS (with NPS and USACE) has been mapping the seafloor and substrate around the Mississippi barrier islands to characterize the near-surface stratigraphy and identify the influence it has on island evolution and fate.

Integrating Mapping and Modeling to Support the Restoration of Bird Nesting Habitat at Breton Island National Wildlife Refuge

In response to storms, reduced sediment supply, and sea-level rise, Breton Island is rapidly deteriorating, impacting the available nesting habitat of endangered seabirds. This study provides critical information regarding the physical environment of the island system.

Barrier Island Comprehensive Monitoring

Historical and newly acquired data were used to assess and monitor changes in the aerial and subaqueous extent of islands, habitat types, sediment properties, environmental processes, and vegetation composition.

 Subsidence and Coastal Geomorphic Change in South-Central Louisiana

New methods will investigate coastal subsidence on and around barrier islands before and after restoration.