Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
This article is about the geographical feature on the coast of North Carolina. For other uses, see Cape Fear (disambiguation)
Cape Fear is a prominent headland on the Atlantic coast of North Carolina in the southeastern United States. It is largely formed of barrier beaches and the silty outwash of the Cape Fear River as it drains the southeast coast of North Carolina through an estuary south of Wilmington. The cape is the southernmost point of the state of North Carolina, formed where two sweeping arcs of shifting low-lying beach intersect, the result of longshore currents which also form the treacherous, shifting Frying Pan Shoals , part of the ship graveyard of the Atlantic.
Dunes dominated by sea oats occur from the upper beach driftline back to the stable secondary dunes, where they mix with other grasses such as saltmeadow cordgrass and panic grass , as well as seaside goldenrod , spurge, and other herbs to form a stable salt-tolerant grassland.
The Cape Fear estuary drains the largest watershed in North Carolina, containing 27% of the state's population.
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