Many beaches and low-lying coastal areas experience erosion and flooding during storms, high tides, and rainfall. Management agencies frequently create sand berms for protection. Often, the design of berms is adhoc and berm performance and beach erosion goes undocumented. Current engineering models to aid in the design of berms lack adequate data. This project is pioneering the use of the MoBERM tool (Mobile Beach Erosion Monitoring) to fill in this data gap, track the effects of wintertime storms on beaches, and track the effectiveness of coastal protection measures, such as sand berms.
This project will:
The results of this project will improve beach management practices in Southern California. MoBERM data collection at Santa Monica will be led by Dr. Costas Synolakis, Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at USC. The project is being led by Dr. Robert Guza, professor of Integrative Oceanography at Scripps, and Dr. Timu Gallien, a civil engineering graduate from UC Irvine and now a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow at Scripps.
Read the project proposal summary.
Coastal research along Seal Beach. Photo credit: Joe Delgado
2016 Research Updates:
Pilot testing of the MoBERM tool by municipal and citizen scientists was successful and high quality data was collected. The data collected to date confirms that the 2016 El Niño was very energetic, resulting in substantial erosion at San Diego beaches. On the contrary, some beaches assumed to be eroding, like Seal Beach in Los Angeles, did not erode substantially during the season. The next phase of the project includes deploying MoBERM to alternate locations and processing all data to initialize, calibrate and validate future numerical models for berms; and expanding the network of community partners using the tool.
Photo courtesy of Timu Gallien: MoBERM in action.
For more information on this project, contact Phyllis Grifman, Associate Director