The Delaware Geological Survey (DGS) is identifying areas where sand is available to restore the state’s dunes and beaches following coastal storms through a new agreement with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM).
Housed at the University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment, DGS will evaluate the state’s existing geologic and geophysical data to pinpoint sand resources for future needs.
As a part of President Obama’s continuing commitment to help coastal communities recover from Hurricane Sandy and promote resilient coastal systems, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the State of Delaware signed a two-year cooperative agreement totaling $200,000 to identify sand resources for coastal resilience and restoration planning. The agreement will help BOEM and Delaware conduct research that will assist coastal communities recovering from Hurricane Sandy, restore habitat, increase our knowledge of sand resources offshore, and contribute to long-term coastal resilience planning efforts.
Under this agreement, the Delaware Geological Survey (DGS), located at the University of Delaware, will evaluate and consolidate Delaware’s existing geologic and geophysical data. The data will be used to identify new sand resources to meet future needs.
Four UD faculty and staff and a graduate student wrote a chapter in the book Geospatial Techniques for Managing Environmental Resources. The chapter is titled "Use of Geospatial Data in Planning for Offshore Wind Development," and the authors are John Madsen, associate professor, Department of Geological Sciences; Alison Bates, master's degree student, School of Marine Science and Policy; John Callahan, research scientist, Delaware Geological Survey; and Jeremy Firestone, professor, School of Marine Science and Policy, all in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment.
On a small, homemade barge, built from the skeleton of an old ship, a gray slurry of bay bottom sand flows out, of a pipe into a bucket. Two scientists, a well driller and two student interns drill a hole in the floor of the Indian River Bay. They'll install a very long pipe into the hole and use it to monitor groundwater - how much flows 'into the bay, how salty it is and how many nutrients it carries with it.
The geologic history of the surficial units of the Fairmount and Rehoboth Beach quadrangles is that of deposition of the Beaverdam Formation and its subsequent modification by erosion and deposition related to sea-level fluctuations during the Pleistocene. The geology reflects this complex history both onshore, in Rehoboth Bay, and offshore. Erosion during the late Pleistocene sea-level low stand and ongoing deposition offshore and in Rehoboth Bay during the Holocene rise in sea level represent the last of several cycles of erosion and deposition.