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.
Media contact: Keith Randall, News & Information Services, at (979) 845-4644 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Tim Dellapenna at (409) 740-4952 or email@example.com
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
Clear as mud: Desiccation cracks help reveal the shape of water on Mars
20.04.2018 | Geological Society of America
Hurricane Harvey: Dutch-Texan research shows most fatalities occurred outside flood zones
19.04.2018 | European Geosciences Union
University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.
Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.
Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.
Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...
Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.
The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...
Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.
Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...
In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
09.04.2018 | Event News
20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
20.04.2018 | Interdisciplinary Research
20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy