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The Earth has 657 more barrier islands than previously thought, according to a new global survey by researchers from Duke University and Meredith College in Raleigh, N.C.
The researchers identified a total of 2,149 barrier islands worldwide using satellite images, topographical maps and navigational charts. The new total is significantly higher than the 1,492 islands identified in a 2001 survey conducted without the aid of publicly available satellite imagery.
Barrier islands often form as chains of long, low, narrow offshore deposits of sand and sediment, running parallel to a coast but