Coastal Geomorphology

Shoreline at Perdido Key, Gulf Islands National Seashore, Florida
Shoreline at Perdido Key at Gulf Islands National Seashore

NPS/Whitney Granger

Geomorphology is the study of change in earth's landforms caused by things such as weather, geologic processes, or human activities. On barrier islands that protect the mainland of the United States, geomorphology and shoreline monitoring are high priority vital signs. Landform is the physical foundation for ecosystems and natural resources, and barrier islands are more likely to be affected by things such as climate change, hurricanes and extreme weather events, sea-level change, and human development.

The goal of Gulf Coast Network's coastal dynamics monitoring program is to document and detect these changes in selected coastal parks. For more information about the methods used, see Monitoring Coastal Topography at Gulf Coast Network Parks: Protocol Implementation Plan (Bracewell 2017) or
Monitoring Shoreline Position at Gulf Coast Network Parks: Protocol Implementation Plan (Bracewell 2017).

A summary of the vital sign and monitoring approach can also be found in the 2-page brief: Coastal Geomorphology Monitoring Program Summary.

Coastal Geomorphology Monitoring Project Documents and Data

Source: Data Store Saved Search 3499. To search for additional information, visit the Data Store.

Image on the left is a crew member measuring elevations at Padre Island NS. Image on the right is a crew member walking the high tide swash line with a handheld GPS to collect data for the shoreline position protocol.
Image on the left is a crew member measuring elevations at Padre Island NS. Image on the right is a crew member walking the high tide swash line with a handheld GPS to collect data for the shoreline position protocol.

NPS/GULN

close-up view of swash line used for shoreline monitoring at Horn Island
close-up view of swash line used for shoreline monitoring at Horn Island

NPS/Jane Carlson

Last updated: September 27, 2018