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.

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 July 30, 2014 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 July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast

In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast

AP (July 30, 2014) — Every summer, tourists make the pilgrimage to Chincoteague Island, Va. to see wild ponies cross the Assateague Channel. But, it's the rockets sending to supplies to the International Space Station that are making this a year-round destination. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Climate Change Could Cost Billions, According To White House

Climate Change Could Cost Billions, According To White House

Newsy (July 29, 2014) — A report from the White House warns not curbing greenhouse gas emissions could cost the U.S. billions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Climate Change Could Cost Billions According To White House

Climate Change Could Cost Billions According To White House

Newsy (July 29, 2014) — A report from the White House warns not curbing greenhouse gas emissions could cost the U.S. billions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jane Goodall Warns Great Apes Face Extinction

Jane Goodall Warns Great Apes Face Extinction

AFP (July 29, 2014) — The world's great apes face extinction within decades, renowned chimpanzee expert Jane Goodall warned Tuesday in a call to arms to ensure man's closest relatives are not wiped out. Duration: 00:58 Video provided by AFP
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:
from the past week

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