Know Your Park USGS Coastal Erosion Study on the Outer Banks of North Carolina
Contact: Cyndy Holda, 252-473-2111 Ext. 148
Wondering what the equipment and activity on the beaches of Cape Hatteras National Seashore beaches are all about? The National Park Service Outer Banks Group Know Your Park citizen science program series continues with a presentation by Dr. John Warner and Dr. Rob Thieler, scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS.) The hour long presentation will take place on Thursday, February 4th at 7:00 p.m. at the Avon Fire Hall in Avon, NC. The event is free and open to the public. A question and answer session will follow the talk.
Warner and Thieler will discuss the offshore mapping completed last fall and preview the fascinating scientific activities that will occur through February at Cape Hatteras that includes sand dunes rigged with radar, a green dye study, a lighthouse camera, divers and amphibious vehicles deploying sensors. These instruments will measure the speed and direction of ocean currents, waves, and other forces acting on the beach, in the surf zone and beyond. Cutting edge instruments have been developed specifically for this study, to measure forces during normal conditions and during storms.
The instruments, beach surveys, and offshore mapping will reveal many things about the sandy beaches of the Seashore – how much sand there is, how fast it travels, where it comes from, and where it goes. The goal of the research is to better understand, predict, and mitigate the hazards of beach erosion at Cape Hatteras.
The research study conducted at Cape Point and lead by the USGS in Woods Hole, MA, is just one component of a much larger project, called the USGS Carolinas Coastal Change Processes (CCCP) Project. The USGS, US Army Corp of Engineers, along with the academic institutions of the University of South Carolina, North Carolina State University, and Georgia Tech Savannah, are collaborating on the CCCP Project to investigate coastal processes, focusing on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. For more information, check the website at:
The Know Your Park citizen science program series is designed to further connect the Outer Banks communities and residents with the rich natural world and cultural heritage of their neighboring National Park sites; Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Wright Brothers National Memorial and Fort Raleigh National Historic Site.
Did You Know?
The beaches along Cape Hatteras National Seashore sparkle at night. When you kick the sand, you disturb tiny dinoflagellates like seasparkle, magnified in the picture to the left. A chemical reaction causes them to glow with a blue-green light.