Nearshore - Coastal System Change at Fire Island, New York

Morphological Behavior

Morphological Behavior

Similar to beaches and dunes, the submerged shoreface at Fire Island responds to changes in waves, sediment supply, human alteration, and sea level rise. Nearshore morphology research explores connections between submerged changes and beach behavior.

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Geology and Sediment Availability

Geology and Sediment Availability

Nearshore geology barrier-island research fills a data and knowledge gap between the inner shelf and shoreline to identify how nearshore geology variations and natural sediment supply influence beach recovery from storms and future sediment supply.

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Science Center Objects

The nearshore is the submerged portion of the shoreface between the inner shelf and the shoreline and includes the surf zone, where waves break. Along with beaches and dunes, nearshore morphology and geology adjusts to changes in waves, sediment supply, human alterations, and sea level rise. By measuring nearshore morphologic and geologic variations, we can understand how quickly beaches and dunes will respond to and recover from storms and improve predictions of future coastal response to storms and sea level rise.

Morphological Behavior

The submerged shoreface, or nearshore, responds to fairweather and storm waves in concert with beaches and dunes. Exploring connections between changes in nearshore configuration and changes on the beach is a focus of nearshore morphology research. 

Geology and Sediment Availability

Exploring how nearshore sediment availability influences post-storm beach recovery in the months and years after storms, dune building over decades, and barrier island response to sea level rise over longer timescales are themes of nearshore geology research.