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U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2011-1156

Carolinas Coastal Change Processes Project Data Report for Observations near Diamond Shoals, North Carolina, January-May 2009


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Coastal erosion is a pervasive societal problem for much of the world's shoreline. The ability to understand and predict coastal change is therefore important with regards to mitigating coastal change hazards. In the coastal zone, storms are one of the primary driving forces resulting in coastal change. These discrete events create large waves, storm surges, flooding, coastal erosion, and strong currents that pose threats to life, property, and navigation. Understanding the processes that generate these effects and increasing our capability to predict these processes and their impacts will increase our ability to effectively manage and prepare coastal responses to long-term coastal change, individual storm events, and the cumulative effect of multiple storms over periods of years to decades. This will allow planners and coastal managers to provide increased awareness and advance preparation that will help to minimize loss of life and property and to better manage coastal resources.

The U.S. Geological Survey Carolinas Coastal Change Processes (CCCP) Project is conducting research pertaining to coastal change hazards, leading to increased understanding of the processes that cause coastal change and developing and applying models for predicting coastal change. Our current understanding of coastal sediment-transport and geology indicates that examining coastal processes at sub-regional to regional scales leads to important insights into how the coastal zone evolves. Geologic framework studies, numerical models, and physical oceanographic observations are used to address issues related to coastal change due to storm impacts, sediment budgets at sub-regional to regional scales, and the sediment-transport linkage among the beach, the shoreface and the inner shelf. Fundamental circulation and sediment-transport processes are examined in order to advance the scientific understanding of these processes. This approach makes the results of this study applicable to other areas. Additional information about the CCCP is available at


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