A long, narrow, offshore island, usually having beaches and dunes on the seaward side, often with lagoons on the landward side, such as the islands enclosing Pamlico Sound, off the coast of North Carolina. The formation of barrier islands has been explained as the drowning of beach ridges (Stutz and Pilky (2002) J. Coastal Res. SI 36) or the progradation of spits (van Mauren (2005) Marine Geol. 224).
Subjects: Biological Sciences — Earth Sciences and Geography.