© 2018

Barrier Dynamics and Response to Changing Climate

  • Laura J. Moore
  • A. Brad Murray

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxiii
  2. Observations and Conceptual Models of Barrier Response to Changing Climate

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Duncan M. FitzGerald, Christopher J. Hein, Zoe Hughes, Mark Kulp, Ioannis Georgiou, Michael Miner
      Pages 3-56
    3. Claire L. Mellett, Andrew J. Plater
      Pages 57-89
    4. David Mallinson, Stephen Culver, Eduardo Leorri, Siddhartha Mitra, Ryan Mulligan, Stanley Riggs
      Pages 91-120
    5. Christopher I. Odezulu, Jorge Lorenzo-Trueba, Davin J. Wallace, John B. Anderson
      Pages 147-174
    6. Chris Houser, Patrick Barrineau, Brianna Hammond, Brooke Saari, Elizabeth Rentschler, Sarah Trimble et al.
      Pages 175-207
  3. Mechanisms of Barrier Response to Changing Climate

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 209-209
    2. Peter J. Cowell, Michael A. Kinsela
      Pages 243-275
    3. Andrew D. Ashton, Jorge Lorenzo-Trueba
      Pages 277-304
    4. Laura J. Moore, Evan B. Goldstein, Orencio Durán Vinent, David Walters, Matthew Kirwan, Rebecca Lauzon et al.
      Pages 305-336
    5. Dylan E. McNamara, Eli D. Lazarus
      Pages 363-383
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 385-395

About this book


This book presents chapters, written by leading coastal scientists, which collectively depict the current understanding of the processes that shape barrier islands and barrier spits, with an emphasis on the response of these landforms to changing conditions. A majority of the world’s population lives along the coast at the dynamic intersection between terrestrial and marine ecosystems and landscapes. As narrow, low-lying landforms, barriers are especially vulnerable to changes in sea level, storminess, the geographic distribution of grass species, and the rate of sand supply—some barriers will undergo rapid changes in state (e.g., from landward migrating to disintegrating), on human time scales. Attempts by humans to prevent change can hasten the loss of these landforms, threatening their continued existence as well as the recreational, financial and ecosystem service benefits they provide. Understanding the processes and interactions that drive landscape response to climate change and human actions is essential to adaptation. As managers and governments struggle to plan for the future along low-lying coasts worldwide, and scientists conduct research that provides useful guidance, this volume offers a much-needed compilation for these groups, as well as a window into the science of barrier dynamics for anyone who is generally interested in the impacts of a changing world on coastal environments.


Barrier Islands Barrier Spits Climate Change Coastal geology Coastal vulnerability Geomorphologic change Sea-level rise Sediment Transport Shoreline change

Editors and affiliations

  • Laura J. Moore
    • 1
  • A. Brad Murray
    • 2
  1. 1.Department Geological Sciences, Curriculum for the Environment and EcologyUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  2. 2.Division of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Nicholas School of the Environment, Center for Nonlinear and Complex SystemsDuke UniversityDurhamUSA

About the editors

Dr. Laura J. Moore is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geological Sciences and the Curriculum for the Environment and Ecology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is an expert on large-scale coastal behavior, barrier island response to climate change, coastal dune dynamics, and couplings between physical, ecological and human dynamics in coastal systems.

Dr. A. Brad Murray is a Professor in the Division of Earth and Ocean Sciences in the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University. He is a geomorphologist studying landscape evolution, including couplings between physical, ecological, and human dynamics, and responses to changing climate and land use, with a strong focus on coastal environments.

Bibliographic information


“This text represents an excellent launching point for those in need of a foundational understanding of the science of barrier dynamics, and for any researcher who might be interested in the impacts of climate change on coastal environments. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above; faculty and professionals.” (W. Weston, Choice, Vol. 56 (2), October, 2018)