Field Identification and Classification of Coastal Dunes, Galveston County, Texas

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As part of the Texas Natural Resources Inventory (NRI), beach and dune profiles were surveyed at 33 transects spaced 7,000 to 10,000 ft apart along the Gulf shore of Galveston County. These surveys were conducted to establish the position of the dune protection line and the vegetation line. Geographic positions of the dune protection line and the vegetation line on each transect were obtained with geodetic quality Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers. The GPS positions were converted to state plane coordinates to facilitate entry into ARC/INFO, the NRI geographic information system. Dune characteristics such as height, continuity, density of vegetative cover, and location with respect to the Gulf shore were recorded to determine the occurrence and distribution of different dune types. The functional relationships and response of different dune types to storm conditions were reviewed, and an ordinal ranking of dunes was prepared. On one end of the spectrum are high, continuous well-vegetated foredune ridges, and on the other end are low, isolated, barren or sparsely vegetated coppice mounds.


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