Coastal Studies

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Many coastal regions of the world have experienced unprecedented human development in the last 100 to 150 years. Much of this development is incompatible with the dynamic nature of the shoreline.

Understanding how coastal sedimentary systems function is critical if we are to effectively manage coastal resources. Predictions of accelerated sea-level rise and increased storm activity due to CO2-induced warming of the global climate system require understanding how sea level and storm activity have changed in the recent geologic past.

The study of the coastal and near-shore environment can help answer important questions related to natural hazards, ecosystem dynamics, sediment transport, climate variability, ancient cultures, and coastal environmental issues, such as groundwater management and pollution.

A group of Joint Program faculty, staff, and students focus on coastal research. Additionally, ties with other departments at WHOI (Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry, Applied Physics and Ocean Engineering) and MIT (Civil Engineering) as well as with colleagues in the U.S. Geological Survey strengthen the effort.

Researchers use a variety of techniques to study the coastal environment, including high-resolution geophysical tools (for example, high-resolution seismic reflection, electromagnetic mapping, ground penetrating radar (GPR)), sediment sampling and analysis, and the geochemical analysis of sediment and groundwater.

Faculty

Ilya Buynevich (G&G, WHOI)
Matt Charette (MCG, WHOI)
Jeff Donnelly (G&G, WHOI)
Steve Elgar (AOPE, WHOI)
Rob Evans (G&G, WHOI)
Rocky Geyer (AOPE, WHOI)
Liviu Giosan (G&G, WHOI)
Charles Harvey (Civil and Environmental Engineering, MIT)
Jim Moffett (MCG, WHOI)
Peter Traykovski (AOPE, WHOI)