Changing Shorelines & Erosion


Study Finds No Direct Link Between North Atlantic Ocean Currents, Sea Level Along New England Coast

A new study by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) clarifies what influence major currents in the North Atlantic have on sea level along the northeastern United States. The study, published June 13 in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, examined both the strength of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC)—a conveyor belt of currents that move warmer waters north and cooler waters south in the Atlantic—and historical records of sea level in coastal New England.

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Marshes, Mosquitoes, and Sea Level Rise

Marshes, Mosquitoes, and Sea Level Rise

In the 1930s, the Cape Cod Mosquito Control Project dug approximately 1,500 miles of ditches across marshes on the Cape to drain their water and reduce the number of ponds where mosquitoes can breed. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution biogeochemist Amanda Spivak is studying how this and other management decisions have changed the ability of coastal marshes to store carbon and protect against sea level rise.

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Study Finds Link Between River Outflow and Coastal Sea Level

Study Finds Link Between River Outflow and Coastal Sea Level

Sea levels in coastal areas can be affected by a number of factors: tides, winds, waves, and even barometric pressure all play a role in the ebb and flow of the ocean. For the first time, however, a new study led by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has shown that river outflow could play a role in sea level change as well.

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More Floods & Higher Sea Levels

More Floods & Higher Sea Levels

A research team predicts potentially big changes within the next century that would have significant impacts on those who live on or near the coast.

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WHOI Receives $150,000 Grant from Tower Foundation

The Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation has awarded the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) a $150,000 grant that will help fund a three-year collaborative project with Cape Abilities—a nonprofit organization dedicated to finding good jobs for Cape Cod residents with disabilities.

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From Lab to Sea

From Lab to Sea

Scientists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution share their field-tested experience, training graduate students on methods and instruments to collect data in the coastal ocean.

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To Catch a Hurricane

To Catch a Hurricane

On Aug. 25, 2011, the line projecting Hurricane Irene’s path up the East Coast barreled smack into Woods Hole, Mass.,…

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No Day at the Beach

No Day at the Beach

Field research in oceanography is no day at the beach—even when it’s at the beach. Just ask the students who spent…

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The Coastal Ocean Institute

The Coastal Ocean Institute

We are all stewards of the coastal ocean. For some of us, the connection to the sea is clear and immediate; for others, it is subtle and distant. But whether you live on waterfront property or in a land-locked hamlet, your everyday activities affect this most sensitive and most threatened portion of the world?s oceans.

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Rising Sea Levels and Moving Shorelines

Rising Sea Levels and Moving Shorelines

Changes to the shoreline are inevitable and inescapable. Shoals and sandbars become islands and then sandbars again. Ice sheets grow and shrink, causing sea level to fall and rise as water moves from the oceans to the ice caps and back to the oceans. Barrier islands rise from the seafloor, are chopped by inlets, and retreat toward the mainland. Even the calmest of seas are constantly moving water, sand, and mud toward and away from the shore, and establishing new shorelines.

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