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 Wintertime Arctic sea ice growth slows long-term decline: NASA
07.12.2018 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht Why Tehran Is Sinking Dangerously
06.12.2018 | Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam - Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Researchers develop method to transfer entire 2D circuits to any smooth surface

What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.

Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...

Im Focus: Three components on one chip

Scientists at the University of Stuttgart and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) succeed in important further development on the way to quantum Computers.

Quantum computers one day should be able to solve certain computing problems much faster than a classical computer. One of the most promising approaches is...

Im Focus: Substitute for rare earth metal oxides

New Project SNAPSTER: Novel luminescent materials by encapsulating phosphorescent metal clusters with organic liquid crystals

Nowadays energy conversion in lighting and optoelectronic devices requires the use of rare earth oxides.

Im Focus: A bit of a stretch... material that thickens as it's pulled

Scientists have discovered the first synthetic material that becomes thicker - at the molecular level - as it is stretched.

Researchers led by Dr Devesh Mistry from the University of Leeds discovered a new non-porous material that has unique and inherent "auxetic" stretching...

Im Focus: The force of the vacuum

Scientists from the Theory Department of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science (CFEL) in Hamburg have shown through theoretical calculations and computer simulations that the force between electrons and lattice distortions in an atomically thin two-dimensional superconductor can be controlled with virtual photons. This could aid the development of new superconductors for energy-saving devices and many other technical applications.

The vacuum is not empty. It may sound like magic to laypeople but it has occupied physicists since the birth of quantum mechanics.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

Expert Panel on the Future of HPC in Engineering

03.12.2018 | Event News

Inaugural "Virtual World Tour" scheduled for december

28.11.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A new molecular player involved in T cell activation

07.12.2018 | Life Sciences

High-temperature electronics? That's hot

07.12.2018 | Materials Sciences

Supercomputers without waste heat

07.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>