Department of Environmental Studies
The major objective of this Masters Project is to supply verification through comparative mapping and supportive data that there are measurable and predictable geophysical events responsible for the slope recession at Faulker’s Island, Conn. Since the onset of this project, in 1989, the quantitative geographical and biological data strongly supports our proposal that the island is subjected to varying degrees of denudation. The ongoing processes of denudation are accelerated by two agents of marine transportation: longshore drift and storm wave action. The marine erosion, accentuated by this high velocity transportation, has historically occurred during the combination of higher than normal incoming tides, northeast winds and heavy precipitation. These combined forces impact the delicate plant and animal communities along the entire easterly shore by eroding and transporting materials comprising the tideland and waning slope. The most dramatic area of slope recession has occurred on a direct line with the historically listed, “Faulkner Light”, an active aid to navigation. Maps referenced to the historical accounts of the early lightkeepers were compiled diagramming 20+’ of cumulative slope recession from 1849 to 1995. By identifying and mapping the systematic series of changes involved in the geographical cycle we verified the active processes involved in the islands transition.