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Open-File Report 2017-1165

The Sedimentological Characteristics and Geochronology of the Marshes of Dauphin Island, Alabama

By Alisha M. Ellis, Christopher G. Smith, and Marci E. Marot

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Field Data Collection
Laboratory Methodologies and Analyses
Results and Discussion
Data Downloads
References Cited


Photograph of Alisha Ellis, Cathryn Wheaton, and Marci Marot (from left to right) with the push core (center) for site DA45M looking northwest in August 2015. Photograph by Alisha Ellis.
Photograph of Alisha Ellis, Cathryn Wheaton, and Marci Marot (from left to right) with the push core (center) for site DA45M looking northwest in August 2015. Photograph by Alisha Ellis, USGS. [Click figure to enlarge.]

In August 2015, scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey, St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center collected 11 push cores from the marshes of Dauphin Island and Little Dauphin Island, Alabama. Sample site environments included high marshes, low salt marshes, and salt flats, and varied in distance from the shoreline. The sampling efforts were part of a larger study to assess the feasibility and sustainability of proposed restoration efforts for Dauphin Island, Alabama, and to identify trends in shoreline erosion and accretion. The data presented in this publication can provide a basis for assessing organic and inorganic sediment accumulation rates and temporal changes in accumulation rates over multiple decades at multiple locations across the island. This study was funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, via the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund. This report serves as an archive for the sedimentological and geochemical data derived from the marsh cores. Downloadable data are available and include Microsoft Excel spreadsheets (.xlsx), comma-separated values (.csv) text files, JPEG files, and formal Federal Geographic Data Committee metadata in a U.S. Geological Survey data release (Ellis and others, 2018).


The authors would like to thank BJ Reynolds, Paul Nelson, and Dann Blackwood for their assistance in the field; Elsie McBride, Shelby Stoneburner, and Craig Felson for assistance in the laboratory; and Cathryn Wheaton for her assistance in both the field and laboratory. Data processing by Nicholas Zaremba, web design assistance by Jolene Gittens, and peer reviews provided by Noreen Buster and Owen Brenner are also greatly appreciated.

Information Statement

Although these data were processed successfully on a computer system at the U.S. Geological Survey, no warranty expressed or implied is made regarding the display or utility of the data on any other system, or for general or scientific purposes, nor shall the act of distribution imply any such warranty. The USGS shall not be held liable for improper or incorrect use of the data described and (or) contained herein. Any use of trade, firm, or product names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

Suggested Citation

Ellis, A.M., Smith, C.G., and Marot, M.E., 2018, The sedimentological characteristics and geochronology of the marshes of Dauphin Island, Alabama: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2017–1165,


Alisha M. Ellis
U.S. Geological Survey
St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center
600 4th Street South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 502–8056

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