Deltas and Oceans
SAFL conducts research as it relates to ocean and shoreline (primarily delta) related processes. Research involving oceanic currents, transport of oil spills, wind-wave interactions, the atmosphere-ocean transfer of greenhouse gases, and other upper-ocean flow processes helps continue to build a better physical understanding of oceanic processes and enables more powerful numerical simulations. SAFL's delta research relates to the development of techniques for replicating all the main forms of natural deltas at experimental scales, and combining the resulting experimental data with field observations to be able to predict deltaic stratigraphy, as well as to ‘mine’ natural strata for insight on delta response to changes such as sea-level rise and population growth. SAFL also has historically conducted laboratory experiments looking at turbidity currents, or gravity-driven flows, on the ocean floor.
Read more about SAFL deltas and oceans related projects/research:
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Researchers studied the effect of waves breaking on the airflow above the waves. Research like this regarding wind and wave interactions can be used to improve ocean-atmosphere interaction models.
Barrier islands act as natural barriers between the ocean and the mainland by blocking waves and resisting storm winds, giving protection to inland areas which are ecologically rich as well as economic hubs. As sea levels continue to rise with climate change, there is much concern about how rising seas will impact the ongoing evolution of barrier islands and the level of protection they afford inland coastlines.