Impacts of Underlying Stratigraphy, Inlet Formation, and Geomorphology on Coastal Sediment Dynamics: Capers Inlet Quadrangle, SC (USA)

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Luciano, Katherine Elizabeth
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Coastal areas are geologically dynamic, undergoing changes that result from an interplay between underlying and surficial geology and various physical factors including tides, waves, and wind. This study focused on gaining a better understanding of the geologic framework underlying the barrier islands, inlets, and shallow offshore marine areas encompassing the Capers Inlet Quadrangle, South Carolina. Detailed mapping of the area was accomplished using high-resolution sidescan sonar, subbottom profiler, and ground-penetrating radar (GPR) surveys supplemented with ground-truthed sediment samples. The surveys show the study area to be highly dynamic and variable in terms of both surficial and stratigraphic geology. Sorted bedform features detected through sidescan sonar surveys are similar to those identified in prior nearshore study in South Carolina as well as other areas along the East Coast of the United States. Sidescan sonar and subbottom profiler data are also used to identify areas that may be useful for renourishment purposes. Additionally, pre-existing knowledge of local geomorphology is used in combination with the high-resolution geophysical data collected to understand the possible influence of paleochannels identified in the offshore and backbarrier stratigraphy on the overall geologic evolution of the area. Maps created using these data incorporate geologic information into a visual format useful to geologists, policymakers, and members the general public seeking to better understand the shifting geology of the area and region.
Coastal geology -- South Carolina -- Charleston County