The objectives listed below were defined based upon our present understanding of what is known about the geologic framework of the west-central Florida coast/inner shelf system. A summary of findings based on each objective follows this listing in the same numerical order. The primary objectives are:
- To understand overall shelf circulation and how that might affect nearshore and coastal processes (see Processes section).
- To determine the role of the underlying carbonate platform in controlling the overall geometry of the modern coastal system (see Underlying Geologic Template/Antecedent Topographic Control section).
- To determine the significance of an infilled shelf/estuarine valley during the development of the coastal system (see Infilled Shelf Valleys and Their Significance section).
- To determine the thickness, overall geometry/bathymetry, and sedimentary character of the active, Holocene sand sheet, and to recognize and define contrasting shelf provinces. To understand the relative activity of the seabed, and the late Holocene evolution of the inner shelf (see Characteristics of the Shelf Sedimentary Cover section).
- To determine the lithology and origin of hardbottoms, particularly scarps, and the role that they play in sediment production and controlling benthic communities (see Hardbottom Development and Significance section).
- To understand the late Holocene evolution of the barrier islands and to develop stratigraphic models (see Barrier Island Studies section).