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Fieldwork

SWASH Project Prepares for Winter Storms

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Plot of mean shoreline position—Cape Cod
Seasonal and storm-induced changes in mean shoreline position for 18 months of SWASH surveys along 28 km of Cape Cod's outer coast.
On October 2-7, Jeff List, Barry Irwin, and Kathy Konicki (WHFC) conducted SWASH surveys of shoreline position along 130 km of the new North Carolina's Outer Banks as part of the North Carolina coastal-erosion project. These surveys re-established the Corolla to Oregon Inlet section studied intensively during the 1997 Sandyduck experiment and established Oregon Inlet to Hatteras Point as a new coastal reach for SWASH studies of the shoreline response to storms.

Over the coming winter season, the SWASH team will be on standby for repeated surveys of shoreline changes in response to Nor'easter storms in the Outer Banks. Over the next several weeks, Abby Sallenger (St. Pete) will also be focusing on storm impacts along this coast, working with NASA and NOAA to conduct regional LIDAR surveys of three-dimensional topography. The LIDAR and SWASH surveys will characterize the full beach and dune response. This work is also being done as a component of the new North Carolina coastal-erosion project.

The Outer Banks measurements represent one of three field areas that will be surveyed by the SWASH system this winter, promising a very busy winter for the SWASH team if it turns out to be a stormy season. Measurements along the outer coast of Cape Cod are continuing, with over 1.5 years of bi-weekly data beginning to reveal an interesting picture of the annual cycles of beach changes. In the next several weeks the team will also establish a new SWASH survey site on Fire Island, Long Island, with the hope of capturing the impact of at least one storm this winter. These measurements will be examined in the context of longer term measurements of shoreline change by Jim Allen (USGS/BRD) and results of ongoing wave-modeling studies in this area conducted by Courtney Harris (WHFC).


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