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Coastal Studies

Many coastal regions of the world have experienced unprecedented human development in the last 100 to 150 years. Much of this development is incompatible with the dynamic nature of the shoreline.

Understanding how coastal sedimentary systems function is critical if we are to effectively manage coastal resources. Predictions of accelerated sea-level rise and increased storm activity due to CO2-induced warming of the global climate system require understanding how sea level and storm activity

A group of Joint Program faculty, staff, and students focus on coastal research. Additionally, ties with other departments at WHOI (Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry, Applied Physics and Ocean Engineering) and MIT (Civil Engineering) as well as with colleagues in the U.S. Geological Survey strengthen the effort.

Researchers use a variety of techniques to study the coastal environment, including high-resolution geophysical tools (for example, high-resolution seismic reflection, electromagnetic mapping, ground penetrating radar (GPR)), sediment sampling and analysis, and the geochemical analysis of sediment and groundwater.


Matt Charette, Jeff Donnelly, Steve Elgar, Rob Evans, Rocky Geyer, Liviu Giosan, Charles Harvey, David Ralston, Britt Raubenheimer, Chris Reddy, Peter Traykovski

Related Links

  • The Martha's Vineyard Coastal Observatory
    This project, a collaborative effort between WHOI and the National Science Foundation, developed to study the effects of coastal wind and waves on such processes as air-sea gas exchange, beach erosion, sediment transport and shellfish distribution.