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Coastal Resources

Florida has 1,350 miles of coastline - more than any other state in the continental United States. This coastline includes world-famous beaches as well as 25 percent of the country’s environmentally sensitive wetlands, all of which represents a major economic draw for the state’s tourist industry which generated $89 billion in 2015. Hurricanes and strong winter storms can cause substantial erosion to Florida’s coastline resulting in the need for beach restoration. The Florida Geological Survey conducts research on the distribution of offshore sand shoals that can be used as beach sand sources. The FGS also studies the response of coastal wetlands to sea level changes as well as locates and investigates offshore springs and karst features that may have once provided fresh water to estuaries. Current FGS projects in this research area include:


Geophysical Delineation of the Outer Continental Shelf of the East Coast of Florida

Contact: Dan Phelps

Readily available sub-bottom profiler data collected offshore of the east coast of Florida from the Florida-Georgia state line south to the Martin-Palm Beach County border were processed using Chesapeake Technology SonarWiz5® software. Digitization of the seafloor and the identification of the interpreted “top of rock” horizon for the area south of Cape Canaveral has been completed. Digitization of the seafloor and identification of the interpreted “top of rock” horizon for the area north of Cape Canaveral is currently underway. In the vicinity of Cape Canaveral, insufficient data were available to perform these analyses. Identification of “top of rock” was and is being accomplished by: 1) correlating seismic data to individual vibracores, 2) analyzing variations in seismic reflection intensity, and 3) seismic stratigraphic analysis. From the digitized surfaces of the seabed and “top of rock,” the thickness of unconsolidated sediments in the study area has been and will continue to be tabulated line by line. Maps of the seafloor bathymetry, “top of rock” and unconsolidated sediment thickness for the region south of Cape Canaveral have been completed. Maps of the seafloor bathymetry, “top of rock” and unconsolidated sediment thickness for the region north of Cape Canaveral are in preparation.

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Last Modified:
May 4, 2017 - 12:58pm

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