Document Type



Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Publication Date



Northampton County is situated along Virginia’s Eastern Shore (Figure 1). Because the County’s shoreline is continually changing, determining where the shoreline was in the past, how far and how fast it is moving, and what factors drive shoreline change will help define the shoreline’s future movement. These rates and patterns of shore change along Chesapeake Bay’s estuarine shores will differ through time as winds, waves, tides and currents shape and modify coastlines by eroding, transporting and depositing sediments. The purpose of this report is to document how the Chesapeake Bay shoreline of Northampton County has evolved since 1938. Aerial imagery was taken for most of the Bay region beginning that year and can be used to assess the geomorphic nature of shore change. Only shorelines of Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries on the Bay side of Northampton County are included in this report. The present report is an update to Hardaway et al. (2004) which documented shoreline change in order to determine the evolution of Bay dunes. While determining how the ocean side shoreline and marshes are



Shoreline Evolution, Northampton County, Chesapeake Bay, Aerial Photography, Human impact, GIS


This project was funded by the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program through Grant # NA12NOS4190168 of the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, under the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, as amended.