My research focuses on the role that winds, waves, and circulation have on transforming the beach under seasonal, long-term, and extreme events. The majority of my research is based on the development and use of numerical models to explain complex hydro- and morphodynamic processes in the coastal region and on using data assimilation methods to enhance predictions of coastal change. Understanding these processes, on varying spatial and temporal scales, is essential to designing sustainable coastal civil infrastructure systems, protecting ecosystems and communities, and assessing long-term vulnerability. This work requires the collection and processing of in situ and remote sensing data to initialize and validate numerical models. I am interested in all aspects of nearshore circulation and the impacts of this forcing on habitats, coastal change, and societal impacts.
Science and Products
We use remote-sensing technologies—such as aerial photography, satellite imagery, and lidar (laser-based surveying)—to measure coastal change along U.S. shorelines.
Forecast of coastal change for Tropical Storm Colin.
Hurricane Joaquin coastal change forecast and pre- and post-storm photos documenting coastal change.
Hurricane Matthew coastal change forecast and pre- and post-storm photos documenting coastal change.
Hurricane Harvey coastal change forecast and pre- and post-storm photos documenting coastal change.
Hurricane Irma coastal change forecast and pre- and post-storm photos documenting coastal change.
This research uses state-of-the-art observations, numerical models, and model-data assimilation techniques to better understand their cumulative effect on coastal change.
Research to identify areas that are most vulnerable to coastal change hazards including beach and dune erosion, long-term shoreline change, and sea-level rise.
Assessing the impact of open-ocean and back-barrier shoreline change on Dauphin Island, Alabama, at multiple time scales over the last 75 years
Dauphin Island and Little Dauphin Island, collectively, make up a geomorphically complex barrier island system located along Alabama’s southern coast, separating Mississippi Sound from the Gulf of Mexico and Mobile Bay. The barrier island system provides numerous economical (tourism, fisheries) and natural (habitat for migratory birds, natural...Smith, Christopher G.; Long, Joseph W.; Henderson, Rachel E.; Nelson, Paul R.
Effects of proposed navigation channel improvements on sediment transport in Mobile Harbor, Alabama
A Delft3D model was developed to evaluate the potential effects of proposed navigationchannel deepening and widening in Mobile Harbor, Alabama. The model performance wasassessed through comparisons of modeled and observed data of water levels, velocities, and bedlevel changes; the model captured hydrodynamic and sediment transport patterns in the...Passeri, Davina L.; Long, Joseph W.; Jenkins, Robert L.; Thompson, David M.
Dynamic modeling of barrier island response to hurricane storm surge under future sea level rise
Sea level rise (SLR) has the potential to exacerbate the impacts of extreme storm events on the coastal landscape. This study examines the coupled interactions of SLR on storm-driven hydrodynamics and barrier island morphology. A numerical model is used to simulate the hydrodynamic and morphodynamic impacts of two Gulf of Mexico hurricanes under...Passeri, Davina L.; Bilskie, Matthew V.; Plant, Nathaniel G.; Long, Joseph W.; Hagen, Scott C.
A framework for modeling scenario-based barrier island storm impacts
Methods for investigating the vulnerability of existing or proposed coastal features to storm impacts often rely on simplified parametric models or one-dimensional process-based modeling studies that focus on changes to a profile across a dune or barrier island. These simple studies tend to neglect the impacts to curvilinear or alongshore varying...Mickey, Rangley; Long, Joseph W.; Dalyander, P. Soupy; Plant, Nathaniel G.; Thompson, David M.
Laboratory observations of artificial sand and oil agglomerates
Sand and oil agglomerates (SOAs) form when weathered oil reaches the surf zone and combines with suspended sediments. The presence of large SOAs in the form of thick mats (up to 10 centimeters [cm] in height and up to 10 square meters [m2] in area) and smaller SOAs, sometimes referred to as surface residual balls (SRBs), may lead to the re-oiling...Jenkins, Robert L.; Dalyander, P. Soupy; Penko, Allison; Long, Joseph W.
The influence of bed friction variability due to land cover on storm-driven barrier island morphodynamics
Variations in bed friction due to land cover type have the potential to influence morphologic change during storm events; the importance of these variations can be studied through numerical simulation and experimentation at locations with sufficient observational data to initialize realistic scenarios, evaluate model accuracy and guide...Passeri, Davina L.; Long, Joseph W.; Plant, Nathaniel G.; Bilskie, Matthew V.; Hagen, Scott C.
Vector shorelines and associated shoreline change rates derived from Lidar and aerial imagery for Dauphin Island, Alabama: 1940-2015
In support of studies and assessments of barrier island evolution in the Gulf of Mexico, rates of shoreline change for Dauphin Island, Alabama, were calculated using two different shoreline proxy datasets with a total temporal span of 75 years. Mean High Water line (MHW) shorelines were generated from 14 lidar datasets from 1998 to 2014, and...Henderson, Rachel; Nelson, Paul R.; Long, Joseph W.; Smith, Christopher G.
EAARL Coastal Topography—Chandeleur Islands, Post-Hurricane Katrina, 2005
These datasets, prepared by the U.S. Geological Survey St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center, provide lidar-derived first-surface and bare-earth topography for the Chandeleur Islands, Louisiana. Elevation measurements were acquired by the Experimental Advanced Airborne Research Lidar (EAARL) during September 2005, immediately following...Kranenburg, Christine; Long, Joseph W.; Fredericks, Alexandra M.
Lidar-derived beach morphology (dune crest, dune toe, and shoreline) for U.S. sandy coastlines
The USGS National Assessment of Coastal Change Hazards project aims to identify areas of the nation’s coastline that are most vulnerable to extreme storms and long-term shoreline change. These assessments require coastal elevation data across diverse geographic regions and covering a time span of many years. The datasets published here,...Doran, Kara; Long, Joseph W.; Birchler, Justin; Brenner, Owen T.; Hardy, Matthew; Morgan, Karen L. M.; Stockdon, Hilary F.; Torres, Miguel Loubriel
Hurricane Matthew overwash extents
The National Assessment of Coastal Change Hazards project exists to understand and predict storm impacts to our nation's coastlines. This data defines the alongshore extent of overwash deposits attributed to coastal processes during Hurricane Matthew.Doran, Kara; Long, Joseph W.; Birchler, Justin; Range, Ginger
Correction of elevation offsets in multiple co-located lidar datasets
IntroductionTopographic elevation data collected with airborne light detection and ranging (lidar) can be used to analyze short- and long-term changes to beach and dune systems. Analysis of multiple lidar datasets at Dauphin Island, Alabama, revealed systematic, island-wide elevation differences on the order of 10s of centimeters (cm) that were...Thompson, David M.; Dalyander, P. Soupy; Long, Joseph W.; Plant, Nathaniel G.
Laboratory observations of artificial sand and oil agglomerates video and velocity data
The U.S. Geological Survey conducted experiments during March of 2014 to expand the available data on sand and oil agglomerate motion; test shear stress based incipient motion parameterizations in a controlled, laboratory setting; and directly observe sand and oil agglomerate exhumation and burial processes. Experiments were carried out at the...Jenkins, Robert; Dalyander, P. Soupy; Penko, Allison; Long, Joseph W.; Nelson, Timothy