Blythe Bay, NC in LiDAR

Blythe Bay in the suburbs of Wilmington, NC. In the 1940’s this was all farmland, and the huge “Carolina bay” was quite visible in aerial photographs. In today’s GE imagery, the bay is not discernible in spite of its being over a mile wide and nearly two miles long. Now that LiDAR derived DEM mappings are available, the bay again is visible in its glory.The following quoted from Henry Savage: “In 1943, B. W Wells of North Carolina State College reported to the Elisha Mitchell Scientific Society the preliminary conclusions of the study he had made of Blythe Bay in the southeastern suburban area of Wilmington, North Carolina. His work would later become part of one of the most intriguing research studies in Carolina bay literature. He told the society that in Blythe Bay the interior of which is about thirty-five feet above mean sea level, he had found five or six feet of typical bay peat lying beneath seven feet of plastic clay and fine sedimentation which could only have been deposited there through an invasion by the sea during a temporary re-elevation of the ocean that had occurred long after the bay had come into existence. A delta-like structure within a gap in the bay’s rim reinforced Wells’ conclusion. Wells’ studies soon led him to the crux of the bay riddle-the origin of the phenomenon. During the ensuing decade Wells, with colleague Steve G. Boyce, sought corroborating evidence in other bays in the Wilmington area of what he had deduced from the sediments of Blythe Bay.”



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