Ground Truth Trekking

Chukchi coast

Long spits with lagoons are a common feature along the Chukchi coast. This view reveals a whole history of coastal geology. At right the relatively steep slope hearkens back to the last interglacial 150,000 years ago when sea level was 20 to 30 feet higher. Then the hills were eroded into bluffs, but in the intervening eons they have sloughed off to smooth slopes. In the middle of the image is a shoreline that's probably about 6,000 years old, at the back of the lagoon. It formed when sea level first reached roughly it's current level after the world warmed out of the last ice age. Finally there is the modern beach that has built a barrier spit, protecting the lagoon.

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By Bretwood HigmanErin McKittrickGround Truth Trekking

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