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Facies relationships and radiocarbon dates for these two sections suggest that Galveston is a compound barrier with accretionary and transgressive segments (Morton, 1979). Westward convergence of accretion ridges and their alignment with an arcuate offshore trend of coarse sediment (Morton and Winker, 1979) support the interpretation and mark the boundary along which Galveston Island was realigned. Shorelines east of the pivotal point built seaward while western shorelines retreated. As west Galveston Island transgressed the Holocene Braws-Colorado delta, shoreface erosion and wave refraction combined to supply littoral drift for accretion of east Galveston Island.

Syndepositional faults of Neogene age have recently been reactivated by hydrocarbon production from the Caplen field on Bolivar Peninsula (Figure 49). Examination of aerial photographs taken after 1930 reveals that the backbarrier marsh on the abandoned washover/tidal-delta complex was uniform in height and there was no evidence of a fault scarp. However, by the mid-1950's, traces of fault scarps are visible on photos; subsidence on the downthrown sides of intersecting faults had caused conversion of some marsh to open water.

Although the island flooded, the levee system prevented complete overwash by the storm surge, averting catastrophe. The hurricane protection levee withstood Hurricanes Danny and Elena in 1985. However, in the last stages of Hurricane Juan, the levee failed at its western end,. resulting in minor overwash damage to a small trailer park. The area of failure was the last part of the levee to be finished and vegetated and lies just onshore of several large dredge holes from which borrow material was obtained.

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Life in the Universe Spinger by Shulze-Macuch


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