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Shifting Sands

A cache by W4OTN Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 12/09/2004
1 out of 5
3 out of 5

Size: Size:   other (other)

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Geocache Description:

Cape Hatteras National Seashore encompasses more than 70 miles of barrier islands including much of the area often referred to as the "Outer Banks." It is a diverse landscape and one of the best examples of a mid-Atlantic barrier island system.

The National Park Service closes nesting portions of the beach to ORV and pedestrian traffic. Please read and verify that you can get to the Cape without violating the closure before venturing out.

To log this Earthcache, you need to visit at low tide! (Area is accessible by 4-wheel drive vehicles or those willing to hike at least 2 miles (3.2 km).)

Since these islands formed ten thousand years ago, they have raced the rising waters westward, migrating as much as fifty miles to their present location. The islands actually move from front to back. As land is lost on one side of the island it is usually gained on the back side. Barrier Island geology is a very important and ever changing component of estuary ecology. The area known as Buxton Woods is one of North Carolina's best examples of maritime forest and includes an extensive fresh water marsh system. The above coordinates are only "approximate" since the islands are constantly shifting.

In the years I have been traveling to this location with my GPS I have seen as much as a 500 foot change in the tip of the Cape. Of course island migration is not the only force at work; hurricanes and tropical storms also greatly affect the geology of the island.

To obtain credit for this cache answer the following questions (submit answers via e-mail), provide the coordinates for the easternmost point in your log, and optionally post a picture of you and/or your GPS at the tip of Cape Hatteras at low tide.

  • 1. What is the name of the Shoal that extends nearly 14 miles from this point?
  • 2. The point and the shoal are created by two ocean currents meeting at this point. When the two currents meet they slow down, dropping the sediment they were carrying. Name the two currents.
  • 3. What is the distance between your coordinates and the previous person's coordinates? (distance and direction) Post this with your log.

I hope you enjoy the area as much as I do!

Official EarthCache
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