Shoreline Evolution: Northampton County, Virginia Chesapeake Bay Shoreline 2013

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Milligan, Donna A.; Wilcox, Christine A.; Hardaway, C. Scott, Jr.
Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary
Shoreline Studies Program; Shoreline Evolution; Shoreline Evolution; Northampton County; Chesapeake Bay; Aerial Photography; Human impact; GIS; Environmental Monitoring; Natural Resources Management and Policy; Water Resource Management
report description
Northampton County is situated along Virginia’s Eastern Shore (Figure 1). Because the County’s shoreline is continually changing, determining where the shoreline was in the past, how far and how fast it is moving, and what factors drive shoreline change will help define the shoreline’s future movement. These rates and patterns of shore change along Chesapeake Bay’s estuarine shores will differ through time as winds, waves, tides and currents shape and modify coastlines by eroding, transporting and depositing sediments. The purpose of this report is to document how the Chesapeake Bay shoreline of Northampton County has evolved since 1938. Aerial imagery was taken for most of the Bay region beginning that year and can be used to assess the geomorphic nature of shore change. Only shorelines of Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries on the Bay side of Northampton County are included in this report. The present report is an update to Hardaway et al. (2004) which documented shoreline change in order to determine the evolution of Bay dunes. While determining how the ocean side shoreline and marshes are