Earth’s surface is constantly eroded, reshaped, and renewed by tectonics, weathering, rivers, glaciers, ocean waves, and other physical “forcing” mechanisms. Much of this transformation is mediated by sediment, the weathering product of rocks. Rivers provide an efficient mechanism for transferring sediment from land to sea, and deliver an estimated 19 trillion kg of sediment to the global ocean each year – enough to blanket the contiguous United States in nearly a meter of mud and sand. At the coast, sediment fills estuaries, forms barrier islands and deltas, deposits on continental shelves, and occasionally escapes into the deep ocean. Our research focuses on what happens to sediment in the coastal ocean, using a variety of acoustic and optical tools and chemical analyses that have been adapted (often in novel ways) to the rigors of oceanic research over the past few decades.
See project pages for more information:
Alaskan Beaufort Shelf sediment dynamics
Arctic community environment and infrastructure interactions
Coos Bay Estuary sediment dynamics (Oregon)
IceSat2 sediment inventory calibration
Optical backscatter sensor development (OpenOBS)
Recently completed projects