Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Beach Erosion Remains A Huge Texas Problem

12.06.2013
The five-year anniversary of Hurricane Ike is still several months away, but the effects of what the historic storm did to the Texas coastline have been relentless, especially when it comes to beach erosion in and around the Galveston area where parts of the island lost more than 100 feet of shoreline, says a Texas A&M University at Galveston professor.

Tim Dellapenna, associate professor of marine sciences who has studied Texas beaches for years, says Ike did overnight what nature normally takes about 65 years to do. The island experienced extensive erosion due to the storm’s crashing waves and 15-foot storm surge when it made landfall on Sept. 13, 2008 and caused $30 billion in damages.

“We know Ike removed 100 million cubic yards of sand,” he points out, “and right now, sand is selling for about $25 per cubic yard. That’s $2.5 billion in lost sand alone,” Dellapenna explains.

“Any way you look at Ike, it was a disaster for the Texas coast and many areas of shoreline were lost forever.”

Beach erosion in Texas, as in numerous other U.S. locations, is a huge problem. Studies show that about 64 percent of the Texas coast is eroding at an average rate of 6 feet per year, but some areas are losing more than 25 feet per year. On average, the Texas coast is losing about 2.3 feet a year to erosion.

That presents obvious problems. In America, people like to live near the water: according to the Environmental Protection Agency, of the 25 most densely populated U.S. counties, 23 of them are near a coast.

Texas has about 367 miles of coastline, and much of it suffers from beach erosion, with the Galveston area being ground zero, Dellapenna says.

Of particular concern is the West End portion of Galveston Island, which has seen a huge building boom in the past 20 years. Projections show that parts of the West End could be wiped out by erosion by 2035 or sooner.

“From the West End all the way down to Galveston State Park, that’s an area that is especially prone to erosion,” Dellapenna notes. “We know from records that over 500 feet of beach in some of those areas have been lost just since 1960.

“Adding to that is sea level rise, which we know has been increasing and we know that the city of Galveston has sunk about two feet since the historic 1900 hurricane.”

The 1900 hurricane still ranks as the deadliest natural disaster in U.S. history, killing at least 6,000 people. It led to the creation of the Galveston Seawall, a 17-foot high, 10-mile long wall of stone that has protected much of the island from storms and was added off and on until as late as 1960.

Some ideas for restoring lost shoreline have worked, while others have been mixed at best. The use of geotubes – inserting large hollow tubes buried in the sand with native plants placed on top of them to form a natural barrier to erosion – has worked well on the bayside of the island, but has been detrimental on the Gulf side, Dellapenna says.

Dellapenna and others have worked with the Texas General Land Office, the state agency in charge of the Texas coast, to come up with ideas to fight the never-ending beach erosion problem along the Texas shoreline.

“The long-range projections for beach erosion in Texas are very troubling,” Dellapenna adds. “They show that parts of Galveston could be underwater in the next 20 years. Erosion is simply a problem that is not going away any time soon.”

Media contact: Keith Randall, News & Information Services, at (979) 845-4644 or keith-randall@tamu.edu or Tim Dellapenna at (409) 740-4952 or dellapet@tamug.edu

More news about Texas A&M University, go to http://tamutimes.tamu.edu/

Follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/TAMU

Keith Randall | Newswise
Further information:
http://www.tamu.edu

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht NASA examines Peru's deadly rainfall
24.03.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht Steep rise of the Bernese Alps
24.03.2017 | Universität Bern

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>