Christopher Sherwood, Ph.D.
Coastal oceanographer with expertise in measuring and modeling sediment transport and coastal morphology changes.
Ph.D. Geological Oceanography, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 1995
M.S. Geological Oceanography, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 1982
A.B. Economics and Environmental Studies, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine 1976
Research Oceanographer, U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, CA and Woods Hole, MA, 1999 – present.
Affiliate Faculty, Ocean Engineering, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH, 2009 – present
Guest Investigator, Applied Ocean Physics & Engineering, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA, 2011 – present
Senior Research Scientist, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Hobart, Tasmania, 1996 – 1999
Senior Research Scientist, Battelle Marine Sciences Laboratory, Richland and Sequim, WA, 1991 – 1996
Science and Products
Numerical models are used by scientists, engineers, coastal managers, and the public to understand and predict processes in the coastal ocean. This project supports the development and application of open-source coastal models and has several objectives: 1) improve the code of numerical sediment-transport models by implementing new or improved algorithms; 2) obtain measurements of coastal...
We use remote-sensing technologies—such as aerial photography, satellite imagery, and lidar (laser-based surveying)—to measure coastal change along U.S. shorelines.
Executive Summary Traditionally in the USGS, data is processed and analyzed on local researcher computers, then moved to centralized, remote computers for preservation and publishing (ScienceBase, Pubs Warehouse). This approach requires each researcher to have the necessary hardware and software for processing and analysis, and also to bring all external data required for the workflow over the...
This project is complete and the website is archived and no longer updated.
The U.S. Geological Survey and others are promoting the development of an open-source numerical model for sediment-transport in coastal regions. We are collaborating with other federal agencies...
The Coastal and Marine Geology Program conducts research to monitor and assess coastal hazards and changes in landscape, land use, and ecosystems. This research includes mapping of offshore and coastal bathymetry, topography, geology, and habitat.
Unmanned aerial systems capabilities of the U.S. Geological Survey Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center
Unmanned aerial system (UAS) technology provides a rapid and low-cost solution for mapping coastal environments and assessing short- and long-term changes. The interdisciplinary nature of the data collected and the breadth of applications make UAS technology applicable to multiple scientific investigations. The Aerial Imaging and Mapping (AIM)...Brosnahan, Sandra; Sherwood, Christopher R.
Advantages and limitations to the use of optical measurements to study sediment properties
Measurements of optical properties have been used for decades to study particle distributions in the ocean. They are useful for estimating suspended mass concentration as well as particle-related properties such as size, composition, packing (particle porosity or density), and settling velocity. Measurements of optical properties are, however,...Boss, Emmanuel; Sherwood, Christopher R.; Hill, Paul; Milligan, Tim
Reductive dechlorination rates of 4,4′-DDE (1-chloro-4-[2,2-dichloro-1-(4-chlorophenyl)ethenyl]benzene) in sediments of the Palos Verdes Shelf, CA
Wastes from the world's largest manufacturer of DDT (1-chloro-4-[2,2,2-trichloro-1-(4-chlorophenyl)ethyl]benzene) were released into the Los Angeles County municipal sewer system from 1947 to 1971. Following primary treatment, the effluent was discharged through a submarine outfall system whereupon a portion of the DDT and associated degradation...Eganhouse, Robert P.; Sherwood, Christopher R.; Pontolillo, James; Edwards, Brian; Dickhudt, Patrick J.
Numerical model of geochronological tracers for deposition and reworking applied to the Mississippi subaqueous delta
Measurements of naturally occurring, short-lived radioisotopes from sediment cores on the Mississippi subaqueous delta have been used to infer event bed characteristics such as depositional thicknesses and accumulation rates. Specifically, the presence of Beryllium-7 (7Be) indicates recent riverine-derived terrestrial sediment deposition; while...Birchler, Justin; Harris, Courtney K.; Kniskern, Tara A.; Sherwood, Christopher R.
Direct measurements of mean Reynolds stress and ripple roughness in the presence of energetic forcing by surface waves
Direct covariance observations of the mean flow Reynolds stress and sonar images of the seafloor collected on a wave‐exposed inner continental shelf demonstrate that the drag exerted by the seabed on the overlying flow is consistent with boundary layer models for wave‐current interaction, provided that the orientation and anisotropy of the bed...Scully, Malcolm; Trowbridge, John; Sherwood, Christopher R.; Jones, Katie R.; Traykovski, Peter A.
Final data report for factors controlling DDE dechlorination rates on the Palos Verdes Shelf: A field and laboratory investigation
This data report provides a compilation of information developed over the last 6+ years by a multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional research team. The overall goal of this work has been to identify the biological, chemical, and physical factors that control rates of reductive dechlorination of DDE and DDMU in sediments of the Palos Verdes Shelf (...Eganhouse, Robert P.; Pontolillo, James; Orem, William H.; Webster, Daniel M.; Hackley, Paul C.; Edwards, Brian D.; Rosenberger, Kurt; Dickhudt, Patrick; Sherwood, Christopher R.; Reinhard, Martin; Qin, Sujie; Dougherty, Jennifer; Hopkins, Gary; Marshall, Ian; Spormann, Alfred
Oceanographic and water-quality measurements collected south of Martha’s Vineyard, MA, 2014–2015
This web page provides access to oceanographic and water-quality observations made at seven sites near the Martha’s Vineyard Coastal Observatory (MVCO) as part of National Science Foundation “Bottom Stress and the Generation of Vertical Vorticity Over the Inner Shelf” project. The objective was to measure bottom stress at several locations with...Montgomery, Ellyn T.; Sherwood, Christopher R.; Martini, Marinna A.; Trowbridge, Jannelle; Scully, M.; Brosnahan, Sandra M.
Oceanographic, atmospheric and water-quality measurements Sandwich Town Neck Beach, Massachusetts, 2016
This web page provides access to oceanographic, atmospheric, and water quality observations near Sandwich Town Neck Beach, Massachusetts. These measurements were made in conjunction with two U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) projects; the Coastal Model Applications and Measurements Project, and the Barrier Island Evolution Research project, both...Sherwood, Christopher R.; Montgomery, Ellyn T. ; Suttles, Steven E. ; Brosnahan, Sandra M.
Low-altitude aerial imagery and related field observations associated with unmanned aerial systems (UAS) flights over Coast Guard Beach, Nauset Spit, Nauset Inlet, and Nauset Marsh, Cape Cod National Seashore, Eastham, Massachusetts on 1 March 2016
Low-altitude (approximately 120 meters above ground level) digital images were obtained from cameras mounted in a fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flown from the lawn adjacent to the Coast Guard Beach parking lot on 1 March, 2016. The UAV was a Skywalker X8 operated by Raptor Maps, Inc., contractors to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)....Sherwood, Christopher R.
Water-level and wave measurements in the Chandeleur Islands, Louisiana, 2012 and 2013
This report documents measurements of atmospheric pressure, water levels, and waves made by the U.S. Geological Survey in the Chandeleur Islands, Louisiana, during 2012 and 2013 as part of the Barrier Island Evolution Research project. Simple, inexpensive pressure sensors mounted in shallow wells were buried in the beach and left for one hurricane...Dickhudt, Patrick J.; Sherwood, Christopher R.; DeWitt, Nancy T.
Water-level measurements in Dauphin Island, Alabama, from the 2013 Hurricane Season
This report describes the instrumentation, field measurements, and processing methods used by the U.S. Geological Survey to measure atmospheric pressure, water levels, and waves on Dauphin Island, Alabama, in 2013 at part of the Barrier Island Evolution Research project. Simple, inexpensive pressure sensors mounted in shallow wells were buried in...Dickhudt, Patrick J.; Sherwood, Christopher R.; DeWitt, Nancy T.
Bottom stress measurements on the inner shelf
Bottom stress shapes the mean circulation patterns, controls sediment transport, and influences benthic habitat in the coastal ocean. Accurate and precise measurements of bottom stress have proved elusive, in part because of the difficulty in separating the turbulent eddies that transport momentum from inviscid wave-induced motions. Direct...Sherwood, Christopher R.; Scully, Malcolm; Trowbridge, John