Borrell, S.J. and J.A. Puleo, 2019. “In situ hydrodynamic and morphodynamic measurements
during extreme storm events” Shore & Beach, 87(4), 23-30. http://doi.org/10.34237/1008743
Stanford J. Borrell(1) and Jack A. Puleo(2)
1) Graduate Research Assistant, Center for Applied Coastal Research, University of Delaware, Newark, DE, 19716
2) Professor, Center for Applied Coastal Research, University of Delaware, Newark, DE, 19716
Wave forcing from hurricanes, nor’easters, and energetic storms can cause erosion of the berm and beach face resulting in increased vulnerability of dunes and coastal infrastructure. LIDAR or other surveying techniques have quantified post-event morphology, but there is a lack of in situ hydrodynamic and morphodynamic measurements during extreme storm events. Two field studies were conducted in March 2018 and April 2019 at Bethany Beach, Delaware, where in situ hydrodynamic and morphodynamic measurements were made during a nor’easter (Nor’easter Riley) and an energetic storm (Easter Eve Storm). An array of sensors to measure water velocity, water depth, water elevation and bed elevation were mounted to scaffold pipes and deployed in a single cross-shore transect. Water velocity was measured using an electro-magnetic current meter while water and bed elevations were measured using an acoustic distance meter along with an algorithm to differentiate between the water and bed during swash processes. GPS profiles of the beach face were measured during every day-time low tide throughout the storm events. Both accretion and erosion were measured at different cross-shore positions and at different times during the storm events. Morphodynamic change along the back-beach was found to be related to berm erosion, suggesting an important morphologic feedback mechanism. Accumulated wave energy and wave energy flux per unit area between Nor’easter Riley and a recent mid-Atlantic hurricane (Hurricane Dorian) were calculated and compared.