Marine Science Faculty Publications

Anthropogenic Influences on the Dune/beach Morphology of a Moderately Developed Barrier Island: Fire Island, New York

Document Type

Technical Report

Publication Date



This study assesses the influence of anthropogenic alterations to the dune/beach morphology of Fire Island, a moderately developed barrier island located along the south shore of Long Island, New York. Alterations include beach replenishment, beach scraping, and the presence of developed communities. Beach replenishment is an engineering method that adds material to beaches and dunes from an upland or offshore source. Beach scraping involves the transfer of sand from the berm to the foredune zone creating an anthropogenic foredune intended to protect property from overwash processes and erosion. Analyzed datasets include volume (dune and subaerial beach) and shoreline change calculated from lidar and RTK GPS grids to quantify spatial and temporal changes to the beach, and investigate whether development and/or human alterations affect volume and shoreline position at Fire Island. Beach profile characteristics were used to study the effects of beach scraping on dune/beach morphology in scraped versus non-scraped areas, and to determine if beach scraping has morphological effects on undeveloped areas downcoast.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Technical Report NPS/NER/NRTR—2008/131, National Park Service, Boston, MA, 45 p.