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

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>