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Shoreline change as a proxy for subaerial beach volume change

January 1, 2007

It is difficult and expensive to calculate changes in sediment volume for large sections of sandy beaches. Shoreline change could be a useful proxy for volume change because it can be collected quickly and relatively easily over long distances. In this paper, we summarize several studies that find a high correlation between shoreline change and subaerial volume change. We also examine three new data sets. On Cape Cod, Massachusetts, the correlation coefficients between the time series of shoreline change and subaerial volume change at two locations are 0.73 and 0.96. On Assateague Island, the correlation coefficient between along-coast variations in shoreline change and subaerial volume change is 0.71. On the Outer Banks of North Carolina, the average correlation coefficient between temporal variations in shoreline change and subaerial volume change is 0.84. For spatial variations, the average correlation coefficient is 0.88. It is therefore concluded that shoreline change is a useful proxy for subaerial volume change.