This article is made available with the permission of The North Carolina Academy of Science for research purposes only. It is not to be used for commercial activities or reproduced without written permission from the NCAS.

The Journal of the Elisha Mitchell Scientific Society, 103(1), 1987, pp.28-42


A COMPREHENSIVE BIBLIOGRAPHY OF THE CAROLINA BAYS LITERATURE

THOMAS E. ROSS

Department of Geology and Geography, Pembroke State University, Pembroke, NC 28372

Abstract: Carolina Bays research has been conducted for more than a century and the results of the research efforts have appeared in a multitude of journals, books, and monographs. More than 350 bibliographic entries have been identified here, most of which pertain directly to Carolina Bays. The remainder provide insights and information important to the scientist engaged in Carolina Bays studies. Examination of the literature shows that the focus of research has shifted over the years. Most of the early work concentrated on theories of origin. For the past several years ecology, limnology, and soil characteristics have received more attention than origin studies.

Key Words: Carolina Bays; bibliography.


INTRODUCTION

Carolina Bays are elliptical, shallow depressions found primarily on the Coastal Plain of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. However, some bays may exist in northern Florida and as far north as New Jersey. They are further characterized by being oriented on a northwest-southeast axis, with, in many cases, a distinct sand rim on the southeast end. For the most part these land surface form features are not readily visible from ground level, but aerial views show them to be spectacular features on the otherwise monotonous coastal plain (Fig. 1). The origin of the bays has been a subject of controversy for more than half a century, and numerous theories have been proposed over the years but none has been universally accepted by scholars. The theories (Price, 1968, revised and updated by this author) include:

1. Spring basins (Toumey, 1848).

2. Sand bar dams of drowned valleys (Glenn, 1895).

3. Depressions dammed by giant sand ripples (Glenn, 1895).

4. Craters of meteor swarm (Melton and Schriever, 1952; Prouty, 1952; Wells and Boyce, 1953).

5. Submarine scour by eddies, currents, or undertow (Melton, 1934).

6. Segmentation of lagoons and formation of cresentic keys (Cooke, 1934); original hollows at the foot of marine terraces and between dunes (Cooke, 1954).

7. Lakes in sand elongated in direction of maximum wind velocity (Raisz,1934).

8. Solution depressions, with wind-drift sand forming the rims (Johnson,1936).

9. Solution depressions, with magnetic highs near bays due to redeposition of iron compounds leached from the basins (Lobeck, 1939).

10. Basins scoured out by confined gyroscopic eddies (Cooke, 1940, 1954).

11. Solution basins of artesian springs with lee dunes (Johnson, 1942).

12. Fish nests made by giant schools of fish waving their fins in unison over submarine artesian springs (Grant, 1945).

13. Eolian blowouts (Prouty, 1952).

14. Bays are sinks over limestone solution areas streamlined by groundwater (Le Grand, 1953; Shockley et al., 1956).

15. Oriented lakes of stabilized grassland interridge swales of former beach plains and longitudinal dune fields with some formed from basins in Pleistocene lagoons (Price, 1951, 1958).

16. Black hole striking in Canada (Hudson Bay) throwing ice onto coastal plain (Davis, 1971).

17. Cometary fragments exploding above surface, their shock waves creating depressions (Eyton and Parkhurst, 1975).

18. Drought with subsequent fire in peat bogs followed by eolian activity (Ross, 1986).


FIG. 1. Carolina Bays in Robeson County, North Carolina. This photograph provides examples of cleared bays (note the many small cultivated bays shown in the top, center and along the bottom part of the picture), partially forested bays (particularly the large bay in the northwest quadrant), overlapping bays (along the highway in the northeast quadrant of the photograph). It also illustrates the ellipticity of shape and the presence of bays of various sizes in this 8.5 square mile area. The largest bay shown here is about 1.4 miles long. (Courtesy United States Department of Agriculture, ASCS, Lumberton, N.C.).


Table 1

Percentage of publications showing research emphases in the several categones from 1895 to the present. Where there is overlap of the categories, the research was placed in the category which seemed most appropriate.

Research emphasis

Period

Theories of origin

Geologic characteristics

Ecological/biological

Soil studies

1895-1937

81

16

3

1938-1947

72

26a

2

1948-1957

49

19

29

3

1958-1967

5

48

23

24

1968-1977

38

29

19

14

1978-1987

12

8

64

16

a Since 1937, many papers of a geologic nature are closely related to origin studies.


The purpose of this paper is not to discuss the origin of the bays but to present a comprehensive bibliography which will benefit scholars engaged in Carolina Bays research. Some few works which are included deal only tangentially with Carolina Bays, but they are significant as related to the body of literature on this subject. An examination of the bibliography shows that Carolina Bays research is far-ranging including soil studies, land use capabilities, and ecological research With respect to theories of origin, it should be noted that a work by Savage (1982) which is highly valued for its bibliography on the subject also contains detailed discussions of the more notable works concerned with bay origins.

Analysis of the publications reporting on research illustrates that the focus o investigation has changed over the years. As seen in Table 1, there has been decreasing emphasis on the study of theories of origin as well as in research concerning geological characteristics. Meanwhile, and particularly during the last thirty years, there has been a dramatic increase in ecological/biological research. During this same period, soil studies have entered the picture also in a continuing manner. Thus, it appears that, although the origin of the bays continues to attract attention from scientists, most of the recent work has been oriented toward the study of life associated with the Carolina Bays and toward a better understanding of the ecosystems of and related to the Bay Lakes.

It is hoped that this bibliography of the Carolina Bays literature will be of value to researchers who are actively working on some aspect of Carolina Bays studies and to others who are planning research or are merely interested in this area of increasing scientific emphasis.


THE CAROLINA BAYS LITERATURE

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ALEXANDER, K. C. 1946. On Grant s fish story (origin of Carolina Bays). Sci. Monthly 62:394.

AKNOLD, J. R., AND W. F. LIBBY. 1951. Radiocarbon dates. Science 113:111-120.

ASHTON. P. S., AND R. E. ASHTON, JR. 1979. Biological Survey of the Carolina Bays of Bladen Lakes State Forest and Suggs Mill Pond, Bladen County, North Carolina. Unpublished manuscript of North Carolina Heritage Program, North Carolina Parks and Recreation.

BAILEY, J. R., AND D. G. FREY. 1958. Darters of the genus Holelepis from some natural lakes of North Carolina. J. Elisha Mitchell Sci. Soc. 67:191-203.

BAKER. R. H. 1935. An Introduction to Astronomy. D. Van Nostrand Co., Princeton, N.J.

BARNES, S. 1981. Agricultural adaptability of wet soils of the North Carolina Coastal Plain. Pp.225-237 in C. J. Richardson (ed.), Pocosin Wetlands. Hutchinson Ross Publishing Company, Stroudsburg, Pa.

BARRINGER, B. 1947. Observations on the Carolina 'Craters' or 'Bays.' Pop. Astron. 55:215-217. BARRY. J. M. 1980. Natural Vegetation of South Carolina. University of South Carolina Press, Columbia.

BARTRAM, 1. 1942. Francis Harper, ed. John Bartram's diary of a journey through the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida; from July 1, 1765, to April 10, 1766. Trans. Am. Phil. Soc. (n.s.) 33, Pt. 1.

BASGALL, M. 1983. Nature's puzzle. The Raleigh News and Observer, 29 May 1983, lD and 7D.

BAXTER, J., AND T. ATKINS. 1976. The Fire Came By. Doubleday and Company, Inc., New York.

BENNETT, S. H., J. W. GIBBONS, AND J. GLANVILLE. 1979. Terrestrial activity, abundance and diversity of amphibians in differently managed forest types. Am. Midl. Nat. 103:412-416.

BLILEY, D. J. 1974. Soils and morphology of Carolina Bays, Eastern Shore, Virginia. M.S. thesis, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg.

BONINI, W. E., AND WOOLARD, G. P. 1960. Subsurface geology of the North Carolina--South Carolina Coastal Plain from seismic data. Am. Assoc. Petroleum Geologists Bull. 44:299-315.

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BRICKELL, J. 1937. The Natural History of North Carolina. Dublin. Revised edition. Raleigh, N.C.

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BROWN, K. W. 1980. An analysis of herpetofaunal species diversity along a temporal gradient of loblolly pine stands in South Carolina. Master's thesis, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Tex.

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BUELL, M. F. 1939. Peat formation in the Carolina Bays. Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 66:483-487.

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GLEASON, R. J. 1981. Structure contour map of basement below North Carolina Coastal Plain an continental shelf. Southeastern Geol. 22:31-38.

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GOODWIN, B. K., AND G. H. JOHNSON. 1970. Geology of the Upland Gravels Near Midlothian Virginia. Atlantic Coastal Plain Geol. Assoc. Guidebook, Pt. 2, 11 th Annual Field Conference Norfolk, Va.

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GUDGER, E. W. 1946. On Grant's fish story. Sci. Monthly 62:394.

HACK, J. T. 1955. Geology of the Brandywine Area and Origin of the Upland of Southern Maryland, United States Geol. Surv. Prof. Paper 267-A.

HAGAR, D. G. 1959. Observations on Photo Interpretations of Carolina Bays and Associated Feature Amherst College, Department of Geology.

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HAMILTON, R. J. 1978. Ecology of the Black Bear in Southeastern North Carolina. M.S. thesis University of Georgia, Athens.

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HUBBS, C. W., AND E. C. RANY. 1946. Endemic fish fauna of Lake Waccamaw, N.C. University of Michigan Museum of Zoology Miscellaneous Publication 65:1-30.

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HUTCHINSON. G. E. 1944. Carolina Bays. (abs.) Am. Sci. 32:80.

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Acknowledgment: This project was supported by a grant from the Pembroke State University Faculty Research and Development Fund.

Received 26 March 1987


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