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Stages in island linking
Farquhar, O.C. (1967). Stages in island linking. Oceanogr. Mar. Biol. Ann. Rev. 5: 119-139
In: Oceanography and Marine Biology: An Annual Review. Aberdeen University Press/Allen & Unwin: London. ISSN 0078-3218, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Document type: Review

    Islands; Tombolos; Marine

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  • Farquhar, O.C.

    There are three things that can happen to islands. They may remain about the same size for a long time; they can be eroded gradually until they cease to exist; or they may become joined to each other or to an adjacent coast. Where they are joined to other areas of land, the link is usually provided by sand or shingle bars. These are called tombolos, which are notable features along many coastlines. Several varieties of tombolos have been recognized in all parts of the globe, linking islands along the edges of lakes as well as oceans.Parts of a tombolo may be single, forked, or complex. Where two or three join neighbouring land areas together, tombolos may be called double, parallel, or multiple. Tombolos between islands can be of considerable benefit. Not only do they improve communication, but the water on one or both sides is usually sheltered, providing quiet anchorage. Where more than one tombolo exists, the water enclosed may form a lagoon. Some lagoons of this type have been drained and used for building and agriculture, while others have been changed from salt water to fresh water storage. Also, sand may be blown into the lagoonal area, parts of which may then emerge above sea level. Tombolos are clearly of importance in studies of inshore hydrography and of considerable interest in littoral marine biological work. This paper deals first with the origin and occurrence of tombolos and includes a brief review of selected examples. The rest of the paper is concerned mainly with shoreline topography and land reclamation in two areas with double tombolos, Quebec and New Zealand. The tombolos seem to result from normal wave action, and in both areas long stretches of sand running side by side in pairs tie groups of rocky islands together.

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