Data from Three Recent Studies Released in the USGS Oceanographic Time-Series Data Collection

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Three new oceanographic time-series datasets were released in the USGS Oceanographic Time-Series Data Collection

This article is part of the November-December 2017 issue of the Sound Waves newsletter

One of the data sets is a follow-on to the work started in 2016 at Town Neck Beach in Sandwich, Massachusetts. The other two were collected during the summers of 2016 and 2017 in West Falmouth Harbor, Massachusetts. All three support research conducted for one or more of three projects: Coastal Model Applications and Field Measurements, Barrier Island Evolution Research, and Remote Sensing Coastal Change projects.

Map shows where data were collected for the oceanographic time-series datasets

Map shows where data were collected for the oceanographic time-series datasets. Experiment names are in yellow text; individual sites are shown by place marks. Image credit: USGS

Oceanographic, atmospheric, and water-quality measurements at Town Neck Beach, Sandwich, Massachusetts, 2017

Town Neck Beach in Sandwich has experienced chronic erosion and is the site of ongoing unmanned aerial system (UAS) mapping and monitoring with a fixed web camera. To further assess the effects of storms, short-duration measurements of waves, tides, and overwash were collected from portable pressure sensors deployed on the beach during major winter storms on these dates: January 23-26; February 9-10; February 13-15; and March 13-15, 2017. For each storm, two pressure sensors were deployed on the beach on either side of an overwash channel. These sensors were submerged only when large waves occurred at high tide, and recorded waves and water levels at 2 Hz. An atmospheric pressure sensor was deployed about 2 meters (6 feet) above sea level to provide corrections for the other pressure sensors. One of the pressure sensors deployed in the overwash zone is shown below.

Pressure sensor in the overwash zone prior to a winter storm.

Pressure sensor in the overwash zone prior to a winter storm. The sensor is attached to weights (at left), and connected by chain to a second anchor and float (yellow ball at right). Photo credit: USGS

A small platform (the “nanopod”) was deployed on the seafloor north of the beach in seven meters (23 feet) of water depth between December 2016 and June 2017. This period overlapped with the storm observations, subaerial mapping, and an offshore bathymetric survey. The nanopod sensors measured waves, water level, currents, temperature, salinity, and turbidity.Data from these instruments may be accessed at: http://doi.org/10.5066/F7B27T6P.
 

Tide gauge installed under the West Falmouth boat dock.

Tide gauge installed under the West Falmouth boat dock. Photo credit: USGS

Water-level measurements collected in West Falmouth Harbor, Massachusetts, May–October 2016

Water level was measured at two sites in West Falmouth Harbor to accurately determine tidal gradients. Tide gauges were mounted under the town-owned West Falmouth boat dock and on the private Associates dock near the mouth of the Harbor. Each gauge supported two pressure sensors mounted in a stilling well to damp wave motions. The upper sensor at each site was intended to remain above the water surface to measure atmospheric pressure; the lower sensor was intended to remain constantly submerged to measure tides and surge. The upper sensor under the boat dock was often submerged at high tide, so data from the upper sensor at the Associates dock was used to make atmospheric-pressure corrections for both sites.

Pressure sensor prior to installation at the top of PVC stilling well.

Pressure sensor prior to installation at the top of PVC stilling well. Photo credit: USGS

Data from these instruments may be accessed at: http://doi.org/10.5066/F72Z140X.

Water-level measurements collected in West Falmouth Harbor, Massachusetts, April–June 2017

The same tide gauges were deployed at the same two sites in West Falmouth Harbor for a short period in 2017 to support subaerial and seafloor mapping of the Harbor. Based on our experience in 2016, no upper sensor was installed in the gauge under the town boat dock, and the upper sensor at the Associates dock was used to make atmospheric-pressure corrections for both sites.

Data from these instruments may be accessed at: http://doi.org/10.5066/F7K936D0.

 

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Date published: December 1, 2017

Sound Waves Newsletter - November-December 2017

Detailed new USGS study of a Hurricane Sandy-created breach at Fire Island, three new oceanographic time-series datasets released, San Clemente Dam removal field trip to the Carmel River for graduate students, WHCMSC participates in a variety of outreach opportunities, USGS scientists participate in annual SACNAS conference, and more in this November-December 2017 issue of Sound Waves....