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Barrier island

From Openwaterpedia
Swim course of Joe Rainero around Dewees Island, a barrier island in South Carolina

noun - A barrier island is a coastal landform and a type of dune system and is an exceptionally flat or lumpy area of sand that are parallel to the mainland coast. They usually occur in chains, consisting of anything from a few islands to more than a dozen. Excepting the tidal inlets that separate the islands, a barrier chain may extend uninterrupted for over a hundred kilometers, the longest and widest being Padre Island along Texas in the southern United States of America. The length and width of barriers and overall morphology of barrier coasts are related to parameters including tidal range, wave energy, sediment supply, sea-level trends and basement controls.

Chains of barrier islands can be found along approximately thirteen percent of the world's coastlines,] some displaying different settings, suggesting that they can form and be maintained in a variety of environmental settings. Numerous theories have been given to explain their formation.

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