On this field trip, we'll visit Masonboro Island and North Topsail Beach. Click to see a larger map.
A satellite image of North Carolina's barrier islands, made clearly visible by their sandy surface.
Figure 1. This land is all of Masonboro Island that is above high tide.
Figure 2. Another view of Masonboro Island.
Figure 3. A “ridge and runnel” where sand has accreted to the beach.
Figure 4. Sand from a hurricane overwash has killed part of this salt marsh.
Figure 5. This salt marsh grass has flourished despite the recent overwash.
Figure 6. This salt marsh is thriving.
Figure 7. These condominiums sit close to the shoreline.
Figure 8. Overwash from Hurricane Fran.
Figure 9. Overwash from Hurricane Fran.
Figure 10. Evidence of a later overwash on Topsail Island.
Figure 11. This walkway stretched over a dune that has been destroyed by hurricane overwash.
Figure 12. New dunes built to replace those destroyed by hurricanes.
Figure 13. This house was damaged by hurricanes and is closer to the shoreline than before.
Figure 14. Beach erosion threatens the foundations of these dwellings.
Figure 15. These live oaks have adapted to their environment — unlike the human-built structures on Topsail Island.