Skip to main content


This study focuses on Assateague Island, which straddles the Maryland-Virginia border, and is actively growing in a southerly direction. A total of 18 historical nautical charts at approximately 10-year intervals were used to study the growth of Assateague Island from 1852 to 2017. Areas of erosion and deposition between each map interval were identified to calculate a volumetric net change along the southern portion of the island. Results indicate that southern Assateague Island has grown by 1.5 x 107 m3 since 1852, with an average growth rate of 9.0 x 104 m3yr-1. The only two time intervals that experienced net volume loss along southern Assateague Island were from 1855 to 1862 (2.7 x 105 m3 net loss) and 1892 to 1901 (1.5 x 106 m3 net loss). Additionally, a cyclic pattern of abrupt volume growth along southern Assateague Island was identified. This sudden growth occurred in 1892, 1911, 1949, 1980, and 2017; occurring every 31 years on average. The highest volume increase occurred between 2006 and 2017, correlating with the start of semi-annual beach replenishment efforts along northern Assateague Island in 2004. Southern Assateague Island has experienced a relatively constant cumulative growth rate since 1852, following the equation y = 74352x - 671903 with an R2 of 0.91. Variables (i.e., storm activity, updrift tidal inlet activity, offshore sandbars, and human activity) and the magnitude of their influence that control the growth of southern Assateague Island are still unclear and are the focus of future research efforts.


This is a metadata-only record.



  • Subject
    • Computer Science & Information Systems

  • Institution
    • Gainesville

  • Event location
    • Nesbitt 3110

  • Event date
    • 23 March 2018

  • Date submitted

    19 July 2022

  • Additional information
    • Acknowledgements:

      Dr. Christopher Seminack, Dr. Yu Sun