Shoreline changes on Galveston Island (Bolivar Roads to San Luis Pass): An analysis of historical changes of the Texas Gulf shoreline.




Morton, R.A.

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University of Texas, Bureau of Economic Geology


Historical monitoring along Galveston Island records the type and magnitude of changes in position of the shoreline and vegetation line and provides insight into the factors affecting those changes. Documentation of changes is aided by the compilation of shoreline and vegetation line position from topographic maps, aerial photographs, and coastal charts of various vintages. Major and minor factors affecting shoreline changes include: (1) climate, (2) storm frequency, (3) local and eustatic sea-level conditions, (4) sediment budget, and (5) human activities. The major factors affecting shoreline changes along the Texas Coast, including Galveston Island, are a deficit in sediment supply and relative sea-level rise or compactional subsidence. Changes in the vegetation line are primarily related to storms. Studies indicate that shoreline and vegetation line changes on Galveston Island are largely the result of natural processes and their effects is requisite to avoid or minimize physical and economic losses associated with development and use of the beach.


34 pages


coastal zone, coastal erosion, erosion, accretion, vegetation cover, climate, coasts