Protecting inland coastlines from devastating storms

Problem Title

Protecting inland coastlines from devastating storms

Scientific Title

Using GPR to Compare Hurricane Irene to Past Storm Events

Student: 
Christopher Terra
Major(s): 
Geology
iCons Concentration: 
Renewable Energy
iCons Class Year: 
Class of 2015
Executive Summary 

Over the past 30 years, the amount of high strength tropical hurricanes has increased roughly 80%, causing significant damage and changes in the geologies and infrastructures of the affected areas. In order to better prepare ourselves against this increasing threat, it's vital to compare these recent storm events against others by studying the displacement of coastal sediment during these storms.

We'll be focusing on inland coastlines by studying Hurricane Irene from 2011 and its impact on Keeney Cove, an area off of the Connecticut River. This will be accomplished by using ground-penetrating radar to observe the geologic layers beneath the cove and interpreting the thickness of the varying layers to determine storm frequency and intensity. It's expected that the thick layers that pertain to storm events will increase in both thickness and frequency as we approach present day. This information will allow us to see how storm activity has varied in the Northeast, thereby allowing us to either support or refute the previous statistic and better prepare high-risk areas for these storms.

Problem Keywords: 
climate change
inland coastlines
storms
Scientific Keywords: 
coastal sediment
ground-penetrating radar