ECU-USGS Project

Coastal and Marine Geology Faculty ECU-NCCGC Program Products from January 1, 1002 to January 1, 2007

Click here for the latest Annual Report in pdf format (Dec. 2003)

Click here to link to photographs of the latest Outer Banks field trip

North Carolina has experienced the economic devastation and human suffering resulting from six hurricanes and numerous tropical depressions since 1996. These storms have resulted in severe coastal and inland flooding, erosion of hundreds of miles of shoreline, and major damage and destruction of thousands of homes, businesses, and infrastructure systems. This emphatically underscores the great relevance to North Carolina that research scientists throughout the world are presenting compelling evidence that our global climate is warming, sea level is rising, and increased hurricane activity is predicted. Combined with the explosive development of our coastal zone, hundreds of thousands of people and billions of dollars of property continue to be at an ever-increasing risk in coastal North Carolina. It is imperative that we develop a better understanding of our coastal geology and associated resources, coastal storm dynamics, and high-risk coastal environments.

          To respond to this critical issue, East Carolina University (ECU), the N.C. Geologic Survey (NCGS), and U.S. Geologic Survey (USGS) commenced in FY 2001 a cooperative geophysical and geological research program of the NC coastal region. These geologic investigation will develop a data base that is essential for resolving critical questions associated with utilizing and managing our extremely dynamic, but poorly understood coastal system and provide a sound scientific basis for policy and regulatory decisions. Among the issues being addressed are: shoreline erosion, storm dynamics and coastal system response, sand resources for beach renourishment, quality of crucial water resources, record of climate and sea level change, and habitat evolution within the barrier islands and estuaries. 

Satellite image of eastern North Carolina
taken after Hurricane Floyd in 1999.

*Objectives and Project Location



A.  Geologic Framework Studies
B.  Modern Studies
1.  Remote Sensing Surveys
*Ground Penetrating Radar
*Seismic in Estuaries
1.  Modern Coastal Processes
*Geochemical Characterization of Sediment
*Foraminifera Habitats
 2.  Re-evaluation of Exiting C 14 Data
2.  Barrier Islands
*Estuarine Shoreline Erosion
*Aerial Photo Analysis and Ecosystem Evolution
*Core Banks Ecosystems and Dynamics

Provisional information:
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East Carolina University
Geology Department
Graham Building
Greenville, NC 
Geology Department Web Page