Sea Level Rise Project 2010-2012: A Study of the Potential Effects of Climate Change on Archaeological Sites in the Coastal Plain of North Carolina

Map of eastern North Carolina showing archaeological sites threatened by sea level rise.
Event Description:

Research suggests that a rise in sea level from 0.5 to 2.0 meters above the present mean is possible by the end of the current century.  North Carolina has over 5,900 square kilometers of land below one meter in elevation making it the third largest low-lying location in the United States after Louisiana and Florida.  Between 2010 and 2012 the Office of State Archaeology, in partnership with the North Carolina Geological Survey, undertook an initial assessment of the possible effects of climate change and sea level rise on archaeological resources within the Coastal Plain of North Carolina.  Data were collected for 5,746 sites that occur at elevations of 30 feet or less (above mean sea level).  This is the first step in a proposed long-term study to assess the potential impacts of climate change on cultural resources across the state.  This presentation presents the scope of the project, basic research goals, and an initial inventory of archaeological sites potentially at risk from sea level rise.  The presentation also offers recommendations regarding long-range goals and future research related to assessing the impacts of climate change on cultural resources. 

North Carolina State Library and Archives | 109 East Jones Street, Raleigh, NC

Thursday May 31, 2018 - 11:30 am
Presented by: Lawrence E. Abbott, Jr.

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