Sign up to receive an email update when a new issue of Sound Waves is available.

close window

Link to USGS home page
Sound Waves Monthly Newsletter - Coastal Science and Research News from Across the USGS
Home || Sections: Spotlight on Sandy | Fieldwork | Research | Outreach | Meetings | Awards | Staff & Center News | Publications || Archives

 

Spotlight on Sandy

USGS Deploys Oceanographic Gear Offshore of Fire Island, New York



 previous story | next story

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Coastal Change Processes Project is conducting a field experiment on the inner continental shelf offshore of Fire Island, New York, to study the coastal response to storms. Starting in early February 2014, scientists from the USGS Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, along with scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the University of South Carolina, deployed oceanographic equipment at nine sites in water depths of approximately 12 meters (40 feet), with one site farther offshore at a water depth of approximately 25 meters (80 feet) (see map).

Locations of oceanographic equipment deployed from February to April 2014 offshore of Fire Island, New York
Above: Locations of oceanographic equipment deployed from February to April 2014 offshore of Fire Island, New York. MET, meteorological station; WAVE, buoy that telemeters surface-wave data to the Coastal Data Information Program (CDIP); m, meters. Color-coded high-resolution bathymetry from Schwab and others; please see Geologic Evidence for Onshore Sediment Transport from the Inner Continental Shelf: Fire Island, New York. [larger version]

The equipment consists mainly of tripods deployed on the seafloor that hold instruments to measure surface waves, ocean currents, water levels, salinity, and temperature. Several sites have additional equipment to measure near-bed turbulence, vertical profiles of suspended-sediment concentrations, and seafloor ripples. All of the sites are guarded with surface buoys to help protect the equipment. Several of the buoys have meteorological sensors to measure wind speed and direction, atmospheric pressure, air temperature, and solar heat fluxes. At the site located farthest offshore, a specialized buoy that measures surface waves will telemeter wave data back to the Coastal Data Information Program (CDIP) where it will be available online. It is anticipated that local mariners, other Federal agencies, and recreational users will utilize the data in real time. This buoy is expected to remain on site for several years.

Instrument tripod to be deployed on the seafloor to measure waves, currents, near-bed turbulence, suspended-sediment concentrations, salinity, and temperatur
Above: Instrument tripod to be deployed on the seafloor to measure waves, currents, near-bed turbulence, suspended-sediment concentrations, salinity, and temperature. USGS photograph by Sandy Baldwin. [larger version]

This effort is in part a response to assess the impacts and help determine the resiliency of coastal systems, such as Fire Island, to storm events such as Hurricane Sandy. The specific main focus of this deployment is to measure the distribution of waves along the coast with instruments at sites 1-2-4-6-7-8 and to measure the cross-shore variability of sediment fluxes at sites 2-3 and 4-5 (see map). This information will be used to assess the alongshore variability in coastal response to storms. It is anticipated that large-scale offshore bathymetric features (described in “Geologic evidence for onshore sediment transport from the inner continental shelf—Fire Island, New York,” by William C. Schwab and others, 2013) modify the approaching waves and can alter the alongshore variability of sediment movement. Additionally, during the deployment, researchers from the USGS St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center in St. Petersburg, Florida, along with scientists from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, will map parts of the island dune, beach, and nearshore morphology using a vehicle-mounted lidar and radar system. This data will be part of a continued monitoring of the recovery of the system. The overall goal is to better understand the processes that cause coastal change and to develop models for forecasting coastal change.


Related Sound Waves Stories
Collecting Ocean-Circulation and Sediment-Transport Data Offshore of Fire Island, New York
July / August 2012

Related Websites
Coastal Data Information Program
UCSD
Geologic Evidence for Onshore Sediment Transport from the Inner Continental Shelf: Fire Island, New York
Journal of Coastal Research

 previous story | next story

 

print this issue print this issue

in this issue:

Spotlight on Sandy
cover story:
Decade of Fire Island Research Available

Using Scenarios to Improve Resilience to Major Storms

USGS Deploys Oceanographic Gear Offshore of Fire Island

Research New Geologic Explanation for the Florida Middle Ground

Deep-Sea Corals Record Human Impact on Mississippi River Basin

Nitrate Levels in the Mississippi River, Illinois River

USGS Scientist Examines Foraminifera Collected from Remote Clipperton Island

Outreach
3rd Annual St. Petersburg (Florida) Science Festival

Awards
Deepwater Canyon Study Given Prestigious DOI Award

Staff
Barbara Lidz Retires after Long Career with the USGS in Florida

Publications Jan. / Feb. Publications

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo USA.gov logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
URL: http://soundwaves.usgs.gov/2014/02/spotlight3.html
Page Contact Information: Feedback
Page Last Modified: December 02, 2016 @ 12:09 PM