December 1st 2014
Beaches and coasts
Nantucket is an island 30 miles away of Cape Cod, Massachusetts in the United States. Nantucket and two smaller islands, Muskeget and Tucker-nuck, make up the county of Nantucket. The island is popular as a summer resort and has both air and ship connections with the mainland. Nantucket Island was settled in the middle of the 17th century and became a fishing center. The population of the county in 2000 was 9,520.
The town’s name most likely comes from a Native American tribe known as the Wampanoag, they were the last Native Americans to reside on Nantucket. The specific word or meaning was translated into Nantucket has been lost to history, but many believe it meant something like “in the midst of waters” or “far away island”. Many visitors refer to the main island by its nickname, The Grey Lady of the Sea,b eacuase of the way it looks from the fog while on boats. The island was a refuge for Native Americans who were displaced in the region while Europeans began to take over the areas now known as New York and Massachusetts. About 10,000 to 11,000 years ago, the Paleo-Indians of the Lithic Period moved into the region of North America followed by the Early and Late Archaic Indians of the Archaic Period around 8,000 years ago. The Paleo-Indians were the first humans to live in the Cape and Islands area after the glacial retreat. The Paleo- Archaic Indians arrived in the area on the coastal plain that became the islands of Southeastern Massachusetts. Nantucket was mostly undisturbed by Europeans until 1641 when the island was given to wealthy merchants Thomas Mayhew and his son by the English authorities. There was still fairly little population by Europeans on the islands until Thomas Mayhew sold his interest in the islands to a group of investors.
Nantucket has sandy beaches and low, rolling hills composed of sand and gravel. It is sparsely vegetated, wild cranberries, heather, and wild roses predominate. Nantucket Settled in 1659, the island was part of New York from 1660 to 1692, when it was given to Massachusetts. Nantucket was a major whaling port until the end of the industry, and it later developed into a well known resort and artists' colony. The village of Nantucket is the trade center of the island and is known for its many old houses. The island has a whaling museum and an 18th-century windmill.
The Laurentide Ice Sheet formed the Nantucket archipelago thousands of years ago during the Wisconsin Glacial Stage. It was shaped by by the moving of the glacier over its northern section, the glacier’s melting water running in wide rivers to form the plains of southern half, and became islands after the glacier melted enough to raise the ocean between 300 to 400 feet over a period of 15,000 years, creating islands approximately 6,000 years ago. Nantucket County has a total area of about 303.5 square miles, but 84.25% of that is water. The island of Nantucket is 47.8 square miles or around 30,000 acres. The highest point of Nantucket is Folgers Hill, only 109 feet above sea level. Altar Rock comes in a very close second at 108 feet above sea level. Massachusetts extends from the mountains of the Appalachian system in the west to the Atlantic coast. Nantucket is the least populated county in Massachusetts. Part of the town is designated the census designated place(CDP). The region of Surfside in Nantucket is the southernmost settlement in Massachusetts. Nantucket is a tourist destination and during the summer the population of the island increases to about 50,000 months, due to tourists and seasonal residents.
The entire state was covered in ice during the Wisconsin glaciation, and that shaped its landscape today. Much of the state remains covered in glacial till and typical glacial features. Massachusetts’s soils tend to be rocky, and not very fertile.
Massachusetts terrain features a low coastal plain in the east, the New England