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          logoMonitoring in situ tidal range and surface aquifer recharge and discharge on Wallops Island, Virginia

Chariw, J. E., Sabetta, M. J., Oakley, A. J., Cornell, S. R., 2012, Monitoring in situ tidal range and surface aquifer recharge and discharge on Wallops Island, Virginia,  2012 ASLO-AGU Ocean Sciences Meeting, Abstract ID:11742..

Wallops Island, a barrier island on Virginia’s eastern shore, is home to NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility. The island often experiences major erosion, flooding, and overwash in times of elevated sea-level, however little is known about local tide and wave height conditions along this shoreline. We collected baseline tidal and aquifer data between April -October 2011 using SOLINST dataloggers. In-situ tidal range and tide cycle data allow us to investigate the impact of tides on aquifer discharge and recharge rates. There is an observable signal in the aquifer that correlates to daily tide data from nearby Curtis Merritt Harbor. These data also show that the surface aquifer recharges approximately 45 minutes after rainfall events. Beginning in November 2011, NASA plans to replenish the beach in order to minimize damage to existing infrastructure. In order to support NASA’s effort to develop a shoreline management plan, we will continue data collection through April 2012 and compare conditions pre- and post-replenishment to determine what impacts, if any, beach replenishment has on the natural barrier island system.

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Kurt Friehauf - June 2013