Eyton and Parkhurst
1. The Carolina Bays are ellipses and tend to become more elliptical with increasing size. Many bays, however, lack true bilateral symmetry along either the major or minor axis. The southeast portion of many bays is more pointed than the northwest end and the northeast side bulges slightly more than the southwest side. Known major axis dimensions vary from approximately 200 feet to 7 miles.
2. The Carolina Bays display a marked alignment with northwest-southeast being the preferred orientation. Although there are minor local fluctuations, deviations from the preferred orientation appear to be systematic by latitude (Prouty, 1952).
3. The bays are shallow depressions below the general topographic surface with a maximum depth of about 50 feet. Large bays tend to be deeper than small bays, but the deepest portion of any bay is offset to the southeast from the bay center.
4. Many bays have elevated sandy rims with maximum development to the southeast. Both single and multiple rims occur, and the inner ridge of a multiple rim is less well developed than the outer rim. Rim heights vary from 0 to 23 feet.
5. Carolina Bays frequently overlap other bays without destroying the morphology of either depression. One or more small bays can be completely contained in a larger bay.
6. Some bays contain lakes, some are boggy, others are either naturally or artificially drained and are farmed, and still others are naturally dry.
7. The stratigraphy beneath the bays is not distorted (Preston and Brown, 1964; Thom, 1970).
8. Bays occur only in unconsolidated sediments. Bays in South Carolina are found on relict marine barrier beaches associated with Pleistocene sea level fluctuations, in dune fields, on stream terraces and sandy portions of backbarrier flats (Thom, 1970). No bays occur on modern river flood plains and beaches. Bays exist on marine terraces as much as 150 feet above sea level in South Carolina but also occur on discontinuous veneers of fluvial gravels on the Piedmont in Virginia (Goodwin and Johnson, 1970).
9. Carolina Bays appear to be equally preserved on terraces of different ages and formational processes.
10. Bays occur in linear arrays, in complex clusters of as many as fourteen bays, as scattered individuals, and in parallel groups aligned along the minor axes 11. Bays are either filled or partly filled with both organic and inorganic materials. The basal unit in some bays is a silt believed to represent loess deposited in water.
12. No new bays appear to be forming although Thom (1970) and Frey (1954) cite evidence for recent enlargement of existing Carolina Bays. Price (1968) states that most bays appear to be getting smaller by infilling.
13. Bays are underlain by carbonate, clastic and crystalline bedrock overlain by variable thicknesses of unconsolidated sediments in which the bays are found.
14. Ghosts of semi-obliterated Carolina Bays appear to represent former bays which were filled after formation by terrestrial sediments and organic materials.
5. Small bays deviate further from the mean orientation per region than large bays do.
16. No variation in the heavy mineral suite was found along a traverse of the major axis of one South Carolina bay, even though samples were taken from the bay floor, bay rim and the adjacent non-bay terrace (Preston and Brown, 1964).