Conference 2017 – Expedition Cruising

AH18 October 16, 2017

Confirmed presentation for Saturday October 21st: “Creating Ambassadors: Expedition Cruising Helps Secure the Future of Sable Island” Allow us to introduce Cedar Swan, an adventurer and passionate outdoor enthusiast. The CEO of Adventure Canada—as well as an expedition planner…

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Conference 2017 – Seeking Sable’s Lost Wrecks:

AH18 October 15, 2017

Confirmed presentation for Saturday October 21st: “Seeking Sable’s Lost Wrecks: Following a Digital Paper Trail” With some 350 ships thought to have wrecked on Sable Island, it’s sometimes called “The Graveyard of the Atlantic”. At our conference, Bill…

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Conference 2017 – Marine Debris and Micro Plastics

AH18 October 14, 2017

Confirmed presentation for Saturday October 21st: “Atlantic Canada Microplastics Research Project” Marine debris and micro plastics. Unpleasant for sure, but what does the research tell us? Ariel Smith, MEnv, is the Marine Debris Project Coordinator at Bluenose Coastal Action Foundation…

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Conference 2017 – Sable Island Horse Research

AH18 October 13, 2017

Confirmed presentation for Saturday October 21st: “Population Ecology of the Sable Island Horses”  Sable Island’s most famous inhabitants are its horses. And here’s the man who may understand them the best.Philip D. McLoughlin is an Associate Professor…

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Thank You Bill Freedman

October 28, 2015

It was sad to hear of the passing of Bill Freedman in late September 2015.…

AGM 2015 Recap

June 25, 2015

Thanks to everyone who attended the 2015 Annual General Meeting on June 24th at the…

Conference Thanks

June 2, 2015

One month ago today we opened the first Sable Island Conference. It was exciting to…

C-1: “Sable Island Dune Morphology: a comparison of change over twenty years” – Mary-Louise Byrne


The dunes of Sable Island can be categorized into four physiographic regions: the west spit, the main body, the wide flat beaches on the south part of the island including the plain of former Wallace Lake, and the east spit.  Five profiles were measured using a theodolite and stadia rod in 1987 and 1988 across the island to define its basic morphology and dimensions. Using 2009 digital images and data similar profiles were digitized to determine changes that have occurred in the dune geomorphology over the twenty-year period. A summary of the results is outlined in this paper.  In addition the dune morphology and a classification of the dunes, based on physiographic processes, vegetation cover, and morphology is presented.

The morphology of the dunes is variable, with elevation increasing toward the east, and width of the dune belt changing along the length of the island according to variations of width of the beaches and the Sandy Plain. The unvegetated dunes can be classified as primary (dunes that develop as a result of wind action and the movement of sand over a uniform surface) or secondary (dunes that involve the deposition of sand on or behind a pre-existing obstacle that slows wind speed in its lee). Vegetated dunes may be primary, secondary, or tertiary, depending upon the type of vegetation, the rate of change, and stability of the formation.