***Attention Surfers & Swimmers***
There are swimming hazards located in the surf-zone primarily to the north of the Duck Pier.

Why are there new hazards in the surf zone?

The FRF is excited to host researchers from Washington State University (WSU), Oregon State University (OSU), and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) this fall who will be investigating a number of surf-zone processes. Research topics include:


Surf-Zone Eddies (WSU &OSU)

Surf-zone eddies (see picture to right) are swirling, spiraling currents that can also form hazardous seaward currents called "transient rips". The WSUV researchers will measure currents north of the pier with instruments that will provide the world's first three-dimensional view of beach currents. These measurements will be combined with computer simulations to shed light on why the eddies form, and how they work.


New Technology to Measure Waves & Beach Topography (FRF & WHOI)

FRF researchers have developed new technology to remotely measure how waves interact with the beach during storms. The new instrument automatically scans the beach and waves from the dune (see picture to right), measuring the surface of the water and beach every half-second during storms. These data will help researchers better predict how Hurricanes & Nor’Easters change beaches. We will be collaborating with researchers from WHOI to test this new technology, which could eliminate the need to put as many instruments in the portion of the surf-zone close to shore in the future.

What are the hazards and where are they?

The hazards are 5-inch metal pipes that have been jetted half-way into the sea-bed with instruments attached to them. The pipes are jetted down very deep, but up to 6-8 ft can stick above the seabed where the gauge is attached. Because the sandbars change so frequently, the amount that the pipes stick out of the sea-bed can vary on a day-to-day basis, making them very dangerous to swimmers and surfers. The map below shows rough locations of the pipes: