Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Wave Patterns Point To Coastal Erosion "Hot Spots"

Date:
March 24, 2000
Source:
University Of Arkansas
Summary:
A University of Arkansas professor and his colleague have developed a model that shows why certain parts of a North Carolina barrier island erode faster than others. The model may help scientists pinpoint the causes of other problem areas along the rapidly-eroding shoreline on the Eastern Seaboard.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- A University of Arkansas professor and his colleague have developed a model that shows why certain parts of a North Carolina barrier island erode faster than others. The model may help scientists pinpoint the causes of other problem areas along the rapidly-eroding shoreline on the Eastern Seaboard. The erosion problem is particularly severe in North Carolina, where hurricanes pound State Highway 12 along the barrier islands annually.

Related Articles


Steven K. Boss, assistant professor of geosciences, and Bill Hoffman of the North Carolina Geological Survey will present their findings Friday, March 24, at the annual meeting of the southeastern section of the Geological Society of America meeting in Charleston, S.C.

Boss and Hoffman focused on Pea Island, which has a rapidly-eroding shoreline on the North Carolina Outer Banks. The island has several "hot spots" with severe erosion, interspersed with areas that have lower erosion rates. They suspected some aspect of the offshore wave action might be causing the hot spots.

Boss and his colleagues have surveyed the ocean floor from Oregon Inlet to Cape Hatteras and westward from Cape Hatteras to Ocracoke Inlet. The researchers used sound waves bounced off the ocean floor to produce "images" of the seafloor and the layers beneath it. They also used side-scan sonar, which produces images that look almost like an aerial photograph.

"This gives us a ŌfishÕs eye viewÕ of the bottom," Boss said.

From these images, the researchers created three-dimensional images of the different layers and produced a topographic map of the seafloor.

The map shows that Pea Island has a narrow shore face that drops abruptly into a 20-25-meter deep trough, Boss said. A group of shoals lie about three miles offshore.

Using Geographic Information Systems and spreadsheet software, the researchers developed a wave refraction model by creating a series of points offshore to represent a wave front and entered them into the computer-generated map. They then calculated the speed of the waves, known as celerity, at one-minute intervals as the waves approached shore. As the waves move shoreward, the wave front bends, or refracts, as it crosses the shallow shoals. This bending of the wave fronts focuses wave energy on particular spots along the coast Š resulting in development of erosion "hot spots." The model developed by the Arkansas and North Carolina scientists accurately predicts the location of the erosion "hot spots" on Pea Island.

"It turns out to be a simple physics problem," Boss said. "Where the offshore shoal sits determines where the greatest erosion occurs on Pea Island."

This may lead to clues to coastal erosion in other areas along the Eastern Seaboard, Boss said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Arkansas. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Arkansas. "Wave Patterns Point To Coastal Erosion "Hot Spots"." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 March 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/03/000324094458.htm>.
University Of Arkansas. (2000, March 24). Wave Patterns Point To Coastal Erosion "Hot Spots". ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/03/000324094458.htm
University Of Arkansas. "Wave Patterns Point To Coastal Erosion "Hot Spots"." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/03/000324094458.htm (accessed February 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Rare Clouds Fill Grand Canyon

Raw: Rare Clouds Fill Grand Canyon

AP (Jan. 29, 2015) — For the second time in two months, a rare weather phenomenon filled the Grand Canyon with thick clouds just below the rim on Wednesday. (Jan. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Senate Passes Bill for Keystone XL Pipeline

Senate Passes Bill for Keystone XL Pipeline

AP (Jan. 29, 2015) — The Republican-controlled Senate has passed a bipartisan bill approving construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. (Jan. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
"Cloud Inversion" In Grand Canyon

"Cloud Inversion" In Grand Canyon

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 29, 2015) — Time lapse video captures a blanket of clouds amassing in the Grand Canyon -- the result of a rare meteorological process called "cloud inversion." Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Researchers Say We Should Cut Back On Biofuels

Why Researchers Say We Should Cut Back On Biofuels

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) — Biofuels aren&apos;t the best alternative to fossil fuels, according to a new report. In fact, they&apos;re quite a bad one. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins