SO422 Syllabus


Fall 2001


Mon 20 Aug Course Introduction,

Engineers & Geologists

Dean, Chap. 2, p.15-35

CEM Environmental Engineering, Chap 1 and skim Chap.4, 5, 6

  1. Discuss the major problems of the coast (rising sea level, erosion, and development).
  2. Describe how the coast attempts to reach a dynamic equilibrium.
  3. Understand that a range of solutions, from doing nothing to hard solutions, exists for coastal problems.
  4. Understand how geologists and engineers approach the coast from different perspectives, and we must find a common ground between the two approaches.
Wed 22 Aug Hurricanes and storm damage--Group exercise  
  1. Discuss the probabilities of hurricane danger to the U.S. East Coast, and how these vary with location.
  2. Describe the coastal damage from hurricanes.
Mon 27 Aug Group exercise    
Wed 29 Aug Group exercise    
Wed 5 Sep Coastal classification CEM Coastal geology, Chap 2 (sections 2-1 to 2-3, 2-5, and 2-7) and Chap. 3 Sections 3-1 and 3-2, and table 3-1)
  1. Differentiate the major erosional and accretional features of shorelines.
  2. Discuss the factors affecting coastal geology..
  3. Discuss the man-made factors affecting coastal geology.
  4. Describe coastal classification systems, especially the preferred system based on plate tectonics (collision coasts and trailing edge coasts).  
Mon 10 Sep Waves CEM Longshore transport, Chap.3
  1.  Understand the key variables for waves, including the wave climate (T, Ho , ao), and the equivalence of the subscripts Ho and H .
  2. Discuss measurement of waves in the nearshore environment and offshore.
  3.  Calculate wave length, celerity, and wave height for waves approaching the shore, using linear wave theory and a table of d/Lo.
  4. Understand how group velocity changes as a wave approaches the shore.
  5. Discuss the changes in wave shape, water orbitals, height, and wavelength as it approaches the shoreline.
  6. Calculate wave refraction for the simple case of straight coasts with parallel contours (Snell’s Law). 
Wed  12 Sep Waves (II)    
Mon 17 Sep Wave Breaking Quiz
  1. Classify wave breakers (spilling, plunging, and surging) and the beach and wave conditions responsible for them.
  2. Discuss the complications in determining where a wave will break.
  3. Discuss the differences in Airy and Stokes wave theories.  
  4. Discuss the relationships between the bar and wave breaking.
Wed 19 Sep Inlets and sand bypassing CEM Coastal geology, p.4-17 to 4-33.
  1. Describe the features of a coastal pass.
  2. Discuss how the balance between the longshore current and bypassing determines the stability of a pass.
  3. Discuss why the pass controls the tidal asymmetry in the lagoon.
  4. Discuss the efffect of jetties on the pass system.
Mon 24 Sept Clastic shorelines CEM Coastal geology, p.4-33 to 4-55.
  1. Discuss the morphodynamics of clastic shorelines in relation to tidal range.
  2. Describe the reflective to dissipative continuum for beach classification.
  3. Discuss the annual shift in shoreline classification with the winter/storm and summer/swell profiles.
Tues 25 Sept X Period Exam    
Wed 26 Sept Exam Comp Time    
Mon 1 Oct Beach sediment CEM Coastal geology, p.3-31 to 3-33; p 4-1 to 4-4.
  1. Discuss the minerals found on beaches, and what controls the distribution.
  2. Discuss the types of bedforms and their relation to sediment size and flow velocity.
  3. Understand the difference between basal shear stress and the critical basal shear stress.
Wed 3 Oct Sand size analysis SPM Coastal geology, p.5-32 to 5-37; p 5-78 to 5-83.
  1. Know the phi scale and be able to convert between phi units and mm.
  2. Know the limits of the sand size range.
  3. Know the variables that define the lognormal distribution: mean and standard deviation.
  4. Calculate mean, median, standard deviation, and skewness for sediments with lognormal distributions.
  5. Graph and interpret sediment size analyses, on both normal probability paper and typical graph paper. 
Mon 8 Oct Columbus Day    
Wed 10 Oct Nearshore currents CEM Longshore Transport, p.5-1 to 5-6.
  1. Discuss the relationships of rip currents and longshore currents to the angle of attack.
  2. Use the Longuet-Higgins equation to calculate the velocity of the longshore current.
  3. Discuss why rip currents occur at regions of low breaker height.
  4. Discuss the relationship of cusp formation to rip currents.
Mon 15 Oct Sediment transport CEM Coastal geology, p.4-49 to 4-52.

CEM Longshore Transport, p.4-14 to 4-15.

  1. Understand the concept of closure depth, and the equilibrium profile, and the Bruun rule.
  2. Discuss the concept of a coastal cell.
  3. Discuss how waves sort sand.
  4. Know the three ways the coast can respond to sea level rise.
Wed 17 Oct Sediment budgets CEM Inlets, p.4-1 to 4-10.

CEM Longshore Transport, p.4-12 to 4-15; 6-2 to 6-5.

  1. Understand the major categories of a sediment budget, and why many workers add a third category (convecting process) to the sinks and sources.
  2. Explain the following sediment sources: rivers, shoreline erosion, transport from offshore, wind, carbonate productions, and beach replenishment.
  3. Explain the following sediment sinks: inlets and lagoons, overwash, dune storage, offshore slopes, submarine canyons, deflation, carbonate loss, and mining and dredging.
  4.  Know the magnitude of annual sediment budgets.
Mon 22 Oct Field trip comp time    
Wed 24 Oct Sedimentary environments  
  1. Describe how sedimentary facies respond to transgressions and regressions.
  2. Discuss how fossils, sedimentary structures, and rock types can reveal sedimentary facies.
  3. Describe the motion of sediments under tidal flows in marshes.
Mon 29 Oct Exam Comp Time    
Tues 30 Oct X Period Exam    
Wed 31 Oct Field trip comp time    
Mon 5 Nov Seawalls Dean p.52-68
  1. Discuss the effects of a seawall or revetment on the beach in front of the structure, including reflection and scour, and the effect on adjacent properties.
  2. Describe the differences between seawalls, revetments, and bulkheads.
Wed 7 Nov Beach nourishment Dean p.92-119
  1. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of nourishment.

  2. Discuss the possible sources for sand for nourishment, and the criteria for a good source.

  3. Discuss where the sand for nourishment can be placed, and the advantages and disadvantages of each location.

  4. Discuss the debate about the success or failure of beach nourishment projects.

Mon 12 Nov Veteran's Day    
Wed 14 Nov Groins and jetties Dean p.38-45, 85-91, 198-199
  1. Discuss the effects of a seawall or revetment on the beach in front of the structure, including reflection and scour, and the effect on adjacent properties.

  2. Discuss the effects of groins on the nearshore environment, and the design criteria (length and spacing).

Mon 19 Nov Breakwaters Dean p.46-48
  1.  Discuss the uses and effects of detached breakwaters.
  2. Describe the causes and effects of tsunamis.
Wed 21 Nov Coastal Warfare Handout on course web page
  1. Discuss the types of military operations in the nearshore.
  2. Describe how the environment effects military operations in the nearshore, with specific examples from Tarawa, Normandy, and Inchon. 
Mon 26 Nov Sea level rise Dean, p.20-23, 34-35
  1. Describe the mechanisms that can produce significant sea level rise, and the time periods over which they operate.
  2. Discuss the problems in computing sea level rise from tide gauge records.
Wed 28 Nov The future of the Coast Dean, p.181-209, 228-239
  1. Discuss the important Federal legislation affecting the course.
  2. Discuss why a rational response to coastal problems eludes us.
Mon 3 Dec Course Evals and Review    


Tues 21 Aug Continue course introduction  
Tues 28 Aug Group exercise  
Tues 4 Sep D10--Coastal Classification  
Tues 11 Sep D10--intermediate wave calculations  
Tues 18 Sep D10--Duck bar profiles  
Tues 25 Sep Sand size and shape  
Tues 2 Oct Duck Movie and 3D development  
Tues 9 Oct HOL--Surveying  
Tues 16 Oct    
Tues 23 Oct Field Trip comp time  
Tues 30 Oct Hydro Lab  
Tues 6 Nov HOL--Field trip sediment analysis  
Tues 13 Nov D10--Field trip profile and wave analysis  
Tues 20 Nov D10--Coastal terrain analysis  
Tues 27 Nov Sea level rise