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Shifting Sands

Field research often requires improvisation. WHOI scientists Peter Traykovski and Rocky Geyer had planned to use a robotic underwater vehicle in a project to study how tides and currents move sand in the New River Inlet, just downstream of the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. But the shoals in the inlet turned out to be too shallow and dynamic at low tide to accommodate the vehicle. So Traykovski equipped a catamaran kayak with two types of sonar and a high-resolution GPS. He traversed the inlet channel, grabbing precisely located sonar images of seabed sand patterns as he went.

(Photo by Rocky Geyer, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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