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Tidal Inlet Evolution and Impacts of Anthropogenic Alteration: An Example from Nauset Beach and Pleasant Bay, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Graham S. Giese1, Mark Borrelli1,2,*, and Stephen T. Mague1

1Department of Marine Geology, Center for Coastal Studies, Provincetown, MA 02657. 2Coastal Processes and Ecosystems Laboratory (CaPE Lab), School for the Environment, University of Massachusetts-Boston, Boston, MA 02125. *Corresponding author.

Northeastern Naturalist, Volume 27, Special Issue 10 (2020): 1–21

A new conceptual model describes the inlet migration and inlet transition phases of development of the Nauset Beach–Pleasant Bay barrier beach system. The model uses historical cartographic resources to inform geomorphological analysis of sedimentary processes, inlet migration, and new inlet formation for the purpose of estimating future system configurations and conditions. Using this model, we place the natural evolution of the system in context and observe that an anthropogenic alteration of the mainland shore, a stone revetment, likely contributed to the system’s transition to a single inlet system.

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