The Sedimentary Record
We document here the threat of large scale destruction (collapse) of barrier islands based on the study of many cores taken along the Outer Banks and in Pamlico Sound, North Carolina.Around 1,100 cal yr BP, probably as the result of hurricane activity, portions of the southern Outer Banks must have collapsed to allow normal salinity waters to bathe southern Pamlico Sound for several hundred years. Such collapse could occur again during our current regime of global warming, rising sea level and increased tropical cyclone activity. The economic effect of barrier island break collapse on Outer Banks communities would be devastating.
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