Department or Program



The geomorphic features of the Popham and Seawall Beach barrier complexes and the pocket beaches of Cape Small, in Phippsburg, Maine are influenced by long-term changes such as sea level rise due to climatic variability, causing beaches to migrate. Short-term and seasonal changes, such as storms, longshore transport, and anthropogenic activity on the beaches, cause quick changes to the surrounding environments. Over the past decade, changes occurring on these beaches have happened quickly and on a large spatial scale (hundreds of meters). One feature of barrier beaches is their capability to act as an erosional buffer between mainland and ocean; due to the highly dynamic nature of the study area, it is important to monitor morphologic change closely to insure they retain this buffering capacity. Satellite imagery, time-lapse photography and historical photos are used in this study to compare long-term and short-term morphological changes along the barrier beach and pocket beach systems. Through topographical surveying, weather data, and GPS tracking of the frontal dunes, a recorded documentation of beach morphology during the summer of 2015 was collected and compared to archived profiles extending back to the summer of 2000.

Level of Access

Open Access

First Advisor

Michael Retelle

Date of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Open Access

Available to all.