LEARN NC was a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education from 1997 – 2013. It provided lesson plans, professional development, and innovative web resources to support teachers, build community, and improve K-12 education in North Carolina. Learn NC is no longer supported by the School of Education – this is a historical archive of their website.

Ocean section of Bogue inlet: the mouth of the White Oak River

Figure 1. Ocean section of Bogue inlet: the mouth of the White Oak River (Photograph by the author. More about the photograph)

Figure 1 shows the mouth of the White Oak from Bear Island in Hammocks Beach State Park. The island on the far side of the inlet is Bogue Banks, and the buildings on the horizon at in the town of Emerald Isle. (These two islands are visited in the Large Sand Volume Barrier Island field trip in this series.) The importance of the inlet here is that it starts our trip up the White Oak River.

If you look closely at the ocean in front of the sand spit extending seaward from Bogue Banks, you will see breaking waves making a semi-circle that stretches toward the Bear Island shore of the inlet. This line of breakers marks the ebb tide delta, an area of shallow water that is formed by sediment carried seaward by falling tides settling out of suspension and onto the sea floor. This inlet has been dredged to provide a navigation channel through the delta. The location of the channel is indicated by the absence of breakers.