Go back to the NC Map Go to the New River Page Go to the Stone Mountain Page Go to the Pilot Mountain Page Go to the Medoc Mountain page Go to the Carolina Beach page Go to the Jones Lake page Go to the Pettigrew State Park page Go to the Singletary Lake page Go to the Waccamaw State Park page

Some features that you may encounter at Carolina Beach and the Atlantic Ocean include:


Sinkholes

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These photographs show sinkholes in Pennsylvania.
Photograph byJimmie D. Agnew


Photograph byJimmie D. Agnew

 

Water underground may dissolve rock creating a large opening. This is most common in rock such as limestone, which dissolves more readily than other rocks. If the water table drops causing the opening to be filled with air, instead of water, this is considered a cave or cavern. If the cavern roof is somewhat thin, eventually the upper portion collapses, forming a sinkhole. Sinkholes may be small or quite large, encompassing a few city blocks. Some develop gradually, while others form suddenly in just a few days. In the United States, sinkholes are most commonly found in Florida and Kentucky. Periodically newspapers feature photographs of sinkholes that formed suddenly, frequently in a populated area, such as Winter Park, Florida.

References

  • P. Albert Carpenter, III 1989. A Geologic Guide to North Carolina's State Parks. NC Geological Survey. Bulletin 91.
  • North Carolina Parks and Recreation 1998 Pilot Mountain State Park brochure. State Government Press.

 

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Shoreline Retreat

Shoreline retreat- Prince Edward Island, Canada
Photographs byHeidi Glaesel

The sea erodes the shoreline at Carolina Beach, a process that has accelerated with the introduction of the human-built Carolina Inlet. Attempting to build a permanent structure on a constantly changing surface inevitably results in the destruction of the building or road. Short-term solutions almost always exacerbate the situation. When roads and buildings fall into the sea, this is simply a natural consequence of refusing to recognize the existence of shoreline retreat.

Overall, the movement of sand along in the Carolina Beach area is from north to south. This is due to the action of longshore currents. Longshore currents run parallel to shorelines. They are caused by waves that reach the coast at an angle and return to the sea perpendicular to the coastline, forming a zig-zag pattern.

Reference
P. Albert Carpenter, III 1989. A Geologic Guide to North Carolina's State Parks. NC Geological Survey. Bulletin 91
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Sand Dunes


Photograph by freefoto.com

Sand dunes are eolian features, features formed through the action of wind. The direction of a dune reflects the predominant wind direction at the time when the dune was formed. Vegetation on dunes helps to stabilize them. Dunes that are stabilized help to protect beaches from erosion.

Sand is part of the economic geology of the coastal plain of North Carolina. There are only a few extensive sand pits on the coast. Mostly they occur in Pleistocene formations, such as along the Cape Fear River and at Lake Waccamaw. The Highway Department is a major user of sand for building and paving road surfaces. Sand is also used to make concrete building blocks. Carolina Beach is located near the city of Wilmington near the mouth of the Cape Fear River.

References

  • P. Albert Carpenter, III 1989. A Geologic Guide to North Carolina's State Parks. NC Geological Survey. Bulletin 91.
  • Horace G. Richards 1950. Geology of the Coastal Plain of North Carolina. Philadelphia: The American Philosophical Society

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