Hatteras Island is a classic barrier island of sandy composition. It runs parallel to the mainland and is long and narrow, with an average width of 1,500 ft (450 m), and has been shaped by complex processes of deposition effected by ocean currents and waves. It is part of a series of barrier islands called the Outer Banks and has two distinct sections, which join at a promontory called Cape Hatteras. The dangerously turbulent waters in this area have resulted in hundreds of shipwrecks over the centuries.
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
Erosion and deposition often cause shorelines to migrate. In 1999, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse was moved because the sea had begun to lap at its base, threatening its destruction.