The study conducted by Center for Coastal Studies (CCS) in 2014 characterized and quantified sediment flux within the littoral cells of Cape Cod Bay from Beach Point in North Truro along 18 km (11.18 mi) of shoreline to Jeremy Point in Wellfleet. The project sought to gain an understanding of historic conditions and predict future changes to the position, shape and extent of the shoreline in this region.
Shoreline erosion is a serious issue of concern on Cape Cod and in 2005 CCS began developing a simple geomorphic model to determine long-term volumetric coastal change and longshore sediment transport along outer Cape Cod (Giese, et al., 2011). The method's applicability to Cape Cod Bay was evaluated in 2012 when CCS applied the model to a 4 km (2.48 mi) section of the Cape Cod Bay coast extending north from Beach Point in North Truro to the Provincetown/ Truro town line. The pilot project demonstrated that comparisons of contemporary bathymetric and terrestrial LiDAR with high quality historic hydrographic and terrestrial data along cross shore transects provide an effective means of estimating century-scale sediment budgets along Cape Cod Bay shores. In 2013, the 2012 analysis was extended north into Provincetown Harbor (Berman, 2011). The results of these assessments were documented in two technical reports funded by the Island Foundation (Giese et al., 2012; Giese et al., 2013), and together provide an estimate of the long term, regional scale sediment flux for 7 km (4.3 mi) of the southerly and westerly facing coasts of Cape Cod Bay.
The 2014 study funded by MassBays enhances the characterization of the natural dynamics of this system and provides a quantitative assessment of sediment transport and sediment budget calculations for approximately 25 km (15.5 miles) of the Cape Cod Bay coast. Knowledge of these parameters is vital to an understanding of the historical conditions that contribute to future changes to the position, shape and size of the coastline. These data can be used to reduce the vulnerability of communities and ecological systems to the impacts of changing climate and rising sea levels.
Details of the study as well as a discussion of how the results provide insight into the sedimentary conditions and processes associated with the Provincetown - Truro - Wellfleet coast of Cape Cod Bay and how the findings, when combined with primary geographical features may be applied for coastal planning and management purposes are provided in the study report: Assessment of Multi-decadal Coastal Change: Provincetown Harbor to Jeremy Point, Wellfleet, Massachusetts. Center for Coastal Studies. 2013 file size 1MB.
Berman, G.A., 2011, Longshore Sediment Transport, Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Marine Extension Bulletin, Woods Hole Sea Grant & Cape Cod Cooperative Extension. 48 p.
Giese, G.S., M. Borrelli, S.T. Mague, and P. Hughes, 2013, Evaluating century-scale coastal change: Provincetown/Truro line to Provincetown Harbor. Marine Geology Report No.13-1,
Center for Coastal Studies, Provincetown, MA, 11 p.
Giese, G.S., M. Borrelli, S.T. Mague, and P. Hughes, 2012, Evaluating century-scale coastal change: a pilot project for the Beach Point area in Truro and Provincetown, Massachusetts.
Marine Geology Report No.12-2, Center for Coastal Studies, Provincetown, MA, 18 p.
Giese, G.S., M.B. Adams, S.S. Rogers, S.L. Dingman, M.Borrelli and T.L. Smith. 2011, Coastal sediment transport on outer Cape Cod, Massachusetts. In P. Wang, J.D. Rosati and T. M. Roberts (eds.) Coastal Sediments ’11, American Society of Civil Engineers, v. 3, p. 2353-2356.