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Coastal & Marine Geology Program > Coastal Classification Mapping Project > Open File Report 2004-1217

Coastal Classification Atlas

Northwestern Panhandle of Florida Coastal Classification Maps - St. Andrew Bay Entrance Channel to Perdido Pass

USGS Open File Report 2004-1217

Robert A. Morton, Russell L. Peterson, Tara L. Miller

Report Home Maps Overview Mapping Methods Coastal Classifications Geologic Setting Coastal Processes Coastal Vulnerability Classification Summary References

Classification Summary

The coastal classification maps provide a basis for establishing the lengths of shore that have a particular morphological characteristic or cultural attribute. Such information is relevant for local and state governments for planning that involves the amount of shore that is developed versus undeveloped, or the amount of parkland held in the public trust. Also there is interest regarding the amount of shore that is affected by engineering structures, referred to as armoring or hardening of the shore. Environmental protection and resource management issues such as these require quantitative data that can be derived from the classification maps.

The shore lengths and equivalent percents of the 183 km segment of coast between St. Andrew Bay Entrance Channel and Perdido Pass are presented for each classification unit in Table 2. Fifty four percent of this coastal segment is undeveloped, and 40% of the shore is classified as parks. Where the shore is developed, the development is mostly high density (Table 2). Single family homes are less common than multi-family units such as high-rise condominiums and hotels (Table 2). More than 80% of the shore has either continuous or discontinuous dunes, and a washover terrace is present only along 13% of the shore (Table 2). Beaches more than 30 m wide characterize 98% of the shore. Because the beaches are wide and mostly undeveloped, only 25% of the beaches are maintained. Areas of complete storm overwash represent only about one percent of the shore (Table 2). The overwash zones are concentrated along the mainland shore at the seaward end of the small lakes and along narrow segments of the western end of Santa Rosa Island. About 8% of the shore is influenced by hard structures (Table 2); most of the structures are walls built in the backbeach area.

Table 2. Lengths of shore and percentages for the classification units mapped between St. Andrew Bay Entrance Channel and Perdido Pass. Total length of this coastal segment is about 183 km.
Category Classification Length (km) Percent Pie Chart
Washover Overwash 2.4 1 Washover pie chart.
Closed inlet 0.0 0
New Inlet 0.0 0
No overwash 180.6 99
Dunes Absent 9.4 5 Dune Presence pie chart.
Continuous 106.0 58
Discontinuous 43.5 24
Washover terrace 24.0 13
Beach width > 30 m natural 132.4 73 Beach width pie chart.
> 30 m maintained 45.9 25
< 30 m natural 4.2 2
< 30 m maintained 0.5 0
Structures No structure 169.2 92 Structures pie chart.
Wall 12.7 7
Riprap 0.0 0
Outfall 1.0 1
Multiple structures 0.1 0
Development Density Undeveloped 96.8 54 Density of development pie chart.
Low density 9.5 5.0
Moderate density 19.9 11
High density 54.6 30
Dwelling Type No dwelling 36.7 20 Dwelling type pie chart.
Single family 21.8 12
Mixed 13.5 7
Multi-unit 38.4 21
Park 72.5 40

Coastal & Marine Geology Program > Coastal Classification Mapping Project > Open File Report 2004-1217

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