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Abstracts and Accompanying Information: 2018 PCMSC Seminars

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February 2018

Slide from seminar.

February 21st, 2018, 2:00pm

Dirk Rijnsdorp

University of Delaware

Filling in the Blank Spots on the Map

Abstract: SWASH is an open-source non-hydrostatic wave-flow model that is capable of simulating the wave and flow dynamics in realistic coastal regions. Over the past years, such wave-flow models have become an increasingly popular tool for both scientific and engineering purposes within the field of harbour and coastal engineering. Applications include, for example, modelling of complex nonlinear nearshore wave dynamics, agitation of waves in harbours, wave-induced flows (e.g., longshore and rip-currents), and runup oscillations at the beach. With this talk, I will present the basic modelling philosophy and an overview of the current capabilities of the SWASH model. Furthermore, several recent developments will be highlighted that have pushed the capabilities of the non-hydrostatic approach. This includes a subgrid approach that makes the modelling of 3D wave-induced flow features (e.g., undertow) feasible at field scales, and an extension of the model to simulate the interactions of waves with floating structures (e.g., ships and wave energy converters).


Photographs from the speaker's upcoming lecture.

February 20th, 2018, 2:00pm

Stephanie Dohner

University of Delaware

Filling in the Blank Spots on the Map

Abstract: Coastal science and engineering has long battled with the dynamic and complex environments of the coastal zone and the difficulties of collecting data, teasing out multi-scale processes, and designing suitable projects for the conditions. Rapid improvements in technology, coupled with decreases in costs, enables researchers, managers, engineers, and policy makers improved data collection methods. These platforms have resulted in higher resolution information, both spatially and temporally, using low-cost, user-friendly, and mobile technologies such as aerial drones, autonomous surface vehicles, terrestrial lasers, and boat mounted sonars. This presentation shares the methodologies and results of several pilot studies performed using robotic systems in varied coastal areas such as natural dune systems, nourished beaches, tidal marshes, and shallow nearshore waters. Insights into benthic community ecosystem services, storm-related coastal morphology, beach and dune vegetation life cycles, and marsh vegetation mapping are providing quantitative data at a resolution and accuracy traditionally unobtainable in theses areas. Realistic operation times, equipment costs, easy-of-use, uncertainties, resolutions, and feasibilities will be discussed as well as methods for mapping and collecting data in these various environments. Site-specific hypothetical and what-if scenario questions are highly encouraged and welcomed!


Photographs from the speaker's upcoming lecture.

February 9th, 2018, 2:00pm

Dan Nowacki

USGS Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center

Sediment transport in salt marshes both stable and massively eroding: Refining marsh vulnerability metrics

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January 2018

Photographs from the speaker's upcoming lecture.

January 24th, 2018, 2:00pm

Stephanie Taylor

UC-Santa Cruz

Noisy sand in high velocity shear flow experiments

Abstract. Granular flows are ubiquitous in nature, yet defy easy characterization or simple rheological laws. A major unresolved question is the contribution of the fluctuations in the velocity field to the mean field response. Our experiments on angular sands show that acoustic energy created by a granular flow is an effective proxy for velocity fluctuations of grains within the flow, and we use this tool to explore granular flow rheology near the transition from creeping to inertially-driven fast flow.


Photographs from the speaker's upcoming lecture.

January 10th, 2018, 2:00pm

Craig Jones

Integral Consulting Inc.

Understanding wave energy on the west coast

Abstract
The marine renewable energy industry requires robust tools to evaluate site characteristics and the potential environmental effects of marine hydrokinetic energy (MHK) devices. Working on multiple spatial and temporal scales, the application of predictive tools such as numerical models can help developers and regulators optimize device performance while also identifying potential ecosystem effects and determine appropriate mitigation measures. In coastal regions, the waves and nearshore currents govern the movement of sediments along the coastline. The transport patterns have a direct effect on coastal geomorphic features and the associated nearshore habitat. Modifications to the nearshore environment can modify sediment dynamics, altering sediment availability in adjacent regions. The presence of a Wave Energy Converter (WEC) array can cause modifications to these dynamics that can be both helpful and detrimental to coastal features and the associated ecology. The present work has three goals:

  1. to provide an ongoing case study that exemplifies tools and techniques for supporting marine environmental assessments,
  2. outline the application of new modeling tools at the case study site, and
  3. develop maps and tables of WEC induced seabed changes.

The case study is used to demonstrate how the changes in the physical environment, in particular waves, can be spatially mapped and quantified using a validated model. A discussion of how probabilistic spatial maps of physical alterations in the area are developed is included in the final section. The overall framework will allow for optimization of WEC deployments to minimize environmental impacts while power output is maximized.

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Illustration from the speaker's upcoming lecture.

January 9th, 2018, 2:00pm

Kevin Befus

University of Wyoming

Coastal groundwater modeling for the eastern U.S.

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