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Florida Coastal Classification
William F. Tanner (1)
A shoreline classification, based on the equilibrium concept, is developed in detail. It is shown that the basis equilibrium notion can be supplemented, to good advantage, by the observation that down-shore (i.e., littoral) changes in energy level or drift rates are important in shaping the coast. Other factors which are used in constructing the classification are tectonic stability, sea level stability, material present, and non-marine agencies involved.
Most of the Florida east coast is marked by high energy levels, the west and panhandle coasts by low to moderate energy. Quartz sand, shell fragments, and exposed bedrock (limestone) are the dominant materials present. Maximum erosion is now occurring on the lower east coast, and on the central panhandle coast, where ramp slopes are steep (50 or more feet per mile), and on the lower west coast, where there is essentially no supply of new sand for littoral drift. Violent, local erosion, in other parts of the state, is primarily a matter of readjustment in response to the activities of man.
The shoreline classification here applied cannot be used directly in paleogeographic interpretation. Much the same information can be obtained, however, by modern stratigraphic techniques.
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