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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2024
  2. Low-frequency, many-minute-period horizontal surfzone eddies are an important mechanism for the dispersion of material, transporting larvae, pollutants, sediment, and swimmers both across and along the nearshore. Previous numerical, laboratory, and field observations on alongshore uniform bathymetry with no or roughly uniform mean background flows suggest that the low-frequency eddies may be the result of a two-dimensional inverse energy cascade that transfers energy from relatively small spatial-scale vorticity injected by depth limited breaking waves to larger and larger spatial scales. Here, using remotely sensed high-spatial resolution estimates of currents, those results are extended to surfzones with strong complex mean circulation patterns [flows O(1 m/s)] owing to nonuniform bathymetry. Similar to previous results, wavenumber spectra and second-order structure functions calculated from the observations are consistent with a two-dimensional inverse energy cascade. The size of the largest eddies is shown to depend on the surfzone width and the spatial scales of the mean currents. Third-order structure functions also are consistent with an inverse cascade for spatial scales greater than ∼50 m. At smaller scales, the third-order structure functions suggest a mixture of inverse and forward cascades.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2024
  3. Tropical cyclones and other extreme coastal storms cause widespread interruption and damage to meteorological and hydrological measurement stations exactly when researchers need them most. There is a longstanding need to collect collocated and synchronized measurements in areas where storms severely damage civil/coastal infrastructure. To fill this observational gap, researchers led by author Masters developed a state-of-the-art monitoring station called a “Sentinel.” Sentinels are intended for temporary installation on the beach between the mean tidal datum and the sand dunes and are engineered to operate in and measure extreme wind, storm surge, wave, and hazardous water quality conditions. They are envisioned as a shared-use resource—a hardened IoT (Internet of Things) platform set up in the right place at the right time to study wind and wave loads, coastal erosion and morphology changes, water quality, and other processes during extreme coastal storms. 
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  4. Reconnaissance following Hurricane Ida. Wind damage to light structures, flooding, levee failures, coastal erosion. Field photos, Lidar, UAVs. 
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  5. Abstract. Ocean surges pose a global threat for coastal stability.These hazardous events alter flow conditions and pore pressures in floodedbeach areas during both inundation and subsequent retreat stages, which canmobilize beach material, potentially enhancing erosion significantly. Inthis study, the evolution of surge-induced pore-pressure gradients is studied through numerical hydrologic simulations of storm surges. The spatiotemporal variability of critically high gradients is analyzed in three dimensions. The analysis is based on a threshold value obtained for quicksand formationof beach materials under groundwater seepage. Simulations of surge eventsshow that, during the run-up stage, head gradients can rise to the calculated critical level landward of the advancing inundation line. During thereceding stage, critical gradients were simulated seaward of the retreatinginundation line. These gradients reach maximum magnitudes just as sea levelreturns to pre-surge levels and are most accentuated beneath the still-water shoreline, where the model surface changes slope. The gradients vary alongthe shore owing to variable beach morphology, with the largest gradientsseaward of intermediate-scale (1–3 m elevation) topographic elements (dunes)in the flood zone. These findings suggest that the common practices inmonitoring and mitigating surge-induced failures and erosion, which typically focus on the flattest areas of beaches, might need to be revised to include other topographic features. 
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