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U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2012-1219

Carolinas Coastal Change Processes Project data report for nearshore observations at Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, February 2010


Background

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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 important with regards to mitigating hazards. Storms are one of the primary driving forces for coastal change. The duration, magnitude, and frequency of storms dictates the long-term sediment flux of the region. These discrete events can create large waves, storm surges, flooding, coastal erosion, and strong currents that can pose threats to life, property, and navigation. Understanding these processes is critical to the assessment of coastal change and the cumulative effect of storms over varying time scales. This will allow planners to provide increased awareness and coastal managers to prepare in advance for storms, minimizing loss of life and property to better manage coastal resources.

The U.S. Geological Survey Carolinas Coastal Change Processes (CCCP) Project is conducting research pertaining to coastal change hazards and applying models for predicting coastal change. Our current understanding of coastal sediment-transport and geology indicates that examining coastal processes at 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, and sediment-transport linkage among the beach, the shoreface, and the inner shelf. The result of this research will aid in the prediction of coastal change, and the field techniques used may be applicable to other areas. Additional information about the CCCP is available at http://woodshole.er.usgs.gov/project-pages/cccp/index.html.


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