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Title: Coastal geologic and engineering history of Presque Isle Peninsula, Pennsylvania
Authors: United States. Army. Corps of Engineers. Buffalo District
Gorecki, Richard J.
Pope, Joan
Keywords: Detached breakwaters
Lake Erie
Recurved spit
Publisher: Coastal Engineering Research Center (U.S.)
Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Series/Report no.: Miscellaneous paper (U.S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station) ; CERC-93-8.
Description: Miscellaneous paper
Abstract: Presque Isle is a unique and significant coastal feature on the south shore of Lake Erie at Erie, Pennsylvania. It is a compound, recurved sandspit that arches lakeward about two and one-half miles from an otherwise straight shore. The peninsula has a lake shoreline of about six and one-quarter miles from its narrow connection with the mainland to its distal end where it turns sharply shoreward. It is the only major positive depositional feature along the generally sand-starved south shore of Lake Erie. Presque Isle Peninsula is an old-age geomorphic feature which is migrating eastward into deeper water, thereby resulting in a net annual loss to the sand body. The processes responsible for the geological evolution of this feature will also be responsible for its eventual destruction unless attempts are undertaken to slow its migration. The history of coastal engineering measures for shore protection on the peninsula has been extensive and dates back to the early 1800's. The peninsula is truly a rare ecological laboratory that allows the process of primary plant and animal succession to be studied in habitat diversity ranging from pioneer vegetation on newly formed shore zones to climax woodland communities on old beach ridges, all within a distance of about three miles. The peninsula is developed as a state park and is a popular recreational area. In the interest of brevity, many of the complex geologic, environmental, engineering, and socioeconomic issues could not be presented herein. The purpose of this paper is purely academic and is designed to enlighten the reader by providing an understanding of the geologic evolution of Presque Isle Peninsula and the history of man's attempts at stabilization.
Rights: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Appears in Collections:Miscellaneous Paper

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