Barrier Island Migration and Morphologic Evolution, Fire Island Inlet, New York
Journal article preprint
FLORIDA INST OF TECH MELBOURNE DEPT OF MARINE AND ENVIRONMENTAL SYSTEMS
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Fire Island Inlet, NY, is an overlapping barrier inlet system, where the inlet channel lies on an east-west orientation with Fire Island to the south and east and Cedar Island and Jones Beach to the north and west. The main purpose of this study was to examine the response to inlet stabilization of inlet geomorphology and adjacent shoreline behavior over a time scale of decades. This study quantifies inlet migration, spit extension, and shoreline change in the areas surrounding Fire Island Inlet, describes major long-term influences to the inlet system, and interprets the consequences of engineering operations to the position of neighboring shorelines. Fire Island Inlets evolution has been a trend of downdrift erosion and updrift accretion. The addition of a jetty on Fire Islands western tip in 1941 and a sand dike within the inlet in 1959 did not halt this trend. Excess sediment bypasses the jetty and migrates into the inlet area, forming spits and shoals. Currently, dredging costs are 5Myear. If the navigation channel were not regularly maintained, it would close due to shoaling within the inlet. A potentially more cost-effective way to deal with the perpetual inlet shoaling would be to relocate the inlet.
- Physical and Dynamic Oceanography