Shifting Sands on Petit Bois Island

Step 2: Exercises – Use satellite imagery to track changes on Petit Bois Island

Satellite images can document changes in the size and shape of barrier islands from space. Using Google Earth Pro to view the four satellite images of Petit Bois Island in the KMZ file, document how the island has changed since 1984.

  1. First, download the Guide to Using Google Earth and Calculations Worksheet (under Resources in the left column).
  2. Then, open up the KMZ file in Google Earth Pro. Use the Guide to Using Google Earth to draw polygons around each of the satellite images.
  3. Measure the size of the island and record your measurements in the Calculations Worksheet.
  4. Analyze your findings:  what do you observe about the island’s size and shape?  At the current rate of change, how long will it take for Petit Bois Island to disappear?
  5. What other changes do the satellite images show? How might that affect the island’s trajectory?