Antecedent and anthropogenic influences on the Galveston Island shoreface
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Galveston Island, Texas has been experiencing high rates of erosion in recent years, spawning an interest in developing complex beach management programs. However, before any effective management project can be implemented we must understand all of the processes that control the shoreface. It is only recently that scientists have begun to recognize the importance of the role that the geologic framework plays on the coastal evolution of the shoreline. In this region, it is the antecedent geology as well as the anthropogenic obstructions which are the key factors controlling the formation of the modern shoreface. This study defines the extents to which these antecedent and anthropogenic factors influence the shoreface as well as refines the geologic interpretations offshore of Galveston Island. Using sidescan sonar, CHIRP seismic sonar, multibeam bathymetry data and sediment cores, the shoreface and subsurface geology were modeled. It was determined that the thickness, extent and slope of the modern sediment in the nearshore environment is controlled by the topography of the Beaumont Clay, a consolidated clay deposited during the Pleistocene. Anthropogenic obstructions, including the Galveston Seawall, groin and jetty system, have changed the sediment transport patterns in the region and have created a system of erosion and accretion not only along the shoreline, but for the entire length of the shoreface.
Pitkewicz, Jennifer Lynn (2006). Antecedent and anthropogenic influences on the Galveston Island shoreface. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from