Barrier Islands Essay

Topics: Tropical cyclone, Storm surge, Storm Pages: 3 (1182 words) Published: October 23, 2014
Barrier Islands
Barrier Islands, which are also known as barrier spits, are elongate, narrow islands of sand or sediment that lied parallel to the coastline and are separated from the mainland by a shallow sound, bay or Lagoon. Most barrier islands are along trailing edge and marginal sea coast where continental shelves are wide and gently sloping. The majority of the barrier islands in North America are along the Atlantic and Gulf Coast. The formation of the barrier islands is not fully understood. There have been many theories about their formation, but the current one states that barrier islands were formed about 18,000 years ago at the end of the last Ice Age. As the glaciers melted, the sea level started to rise and flooded areas behind the beach ridges at that time. The rising waters carried sediments from those beach ridges and deposited them along shallow areas just off the new coast lines. Waves and currents continued to bring in sediments that build up, forming the barrier islands. They range in length from three to a hundred kilometers in length and less than one to three kilometers in width. Their two major functions are: To protect the coastlines from severe storm damage and to harbor several habitats that are refuges for wildlife. There are four major zones in the barrier-islands: beach, dunes, overwash, and salt marsh. Each of these zones have their own function and type of natural life. It is natural for these islands to grow and erode and get washed away. They aren’t permanent; they are just accumulations of sand that form off the cost. It should not be allowed to build up in the barrier-islands because its dangerous for the people, eliminates important ecosystems and limits the island’s usefulness in protecting the mainland coast.

The population that lives along or near our coastlines are in extreme danger. The population living there are living in an unstable and unsafe place. The coastlines can get washed away in any moment due to their...
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