USACE Field Research Facility
Field Research Facility
Coastal & Hydraulics Laboratory

Projects and Experiments

Ongoing Projects
  • WIS

Past Projects and Experiments


MORPHOS Sep2009-
... is a physics-based model for tropical and extra-tropical storm wind, wave, water level and coastal erosion risk assessment.

CAPE FEAR Sep2000-Sep2010
As part of the navigation improvements under construction for the Wilmington Harbor Project.

A bathymetric and side-scan survey of the Currituck Sound.

To assess the beach response to the fill placement and will serve as the basis for maintaining the project

SHOWEX (SHOaling Waves Experiment) 1999
Part of The SHOALING WAVES DRI, a five year field oriented Department Research Initiative by the Office of Naval Research to improve the scientific understanding of the properties and evolution of surface gravity waves in intermediate and shallow water depths.

Sponsored by the US Army Corps of Engineers, Office of Naval Research, and the US Geological Survey the objectives of these coastal field experiments is to advance our fundamental understanding of sediment transport in the nearshore zone. DUCK94, conducted in August and October 1994, was a preliminary effort designed to give the investigators an opportunity to field test their theories and equipment prior to the more comprehensive.

STORM April 1997
The STORM team uses the unique capability of the Sensor Insertion System (SIS) to measure nearshore processes related to sediment transport during storms and the impact of these processes on nearshore bathymetry.

RIB May 1996
The Rapidly Installed Breakwater (RIB) is to meet the needs of military operations known as 'Logistics Over-The-Shore'(LOTS). The RIB System is designed to reduce wave height in its lee providing calm water for the ships involved in LOTS operations.

nearshore field experiments

DELILAH Oct 1990
sponsored by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the Office of Naval Research (ONR), and the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL). Two instrument arrays were deployed including a 24 element directional wave array at - 13 m depth and a 16 element wave and current array placed in the surf zone. Bottom changes were monitored by daily surveys of the region around the surf zone instruments. Most data are available.

Archive of aerial photographs, covering the coast of North Carolina.

Geologic studies at the FRF have included surface sediment texture, box and vibracoring, subbottom profiling, and side-scan sonar mapping

Oregon Inlet in North Carolina, the only inlet along a 170 km stretch of coast, supports an active commercial fishing and recreational boating industry. Severe erosion, because of the ongoing migration of OI, resulted in NC constructing a terminal groin in 1990 to prevent the highway from being cut off.

SUPERDUCK Sep-Oct 1986
This experiment involved people from seven agencies, ten universities, and three foreign countries. Thirty different studies were conducted during this two-phase experiment including detailed measurements of the alongshore current in the surf zone. One major discovery was of shear waves, a wave like surf zone instability which can account for a significant percentage of the energy in the surf zone, especially during storms.

DUCK85 Sep-Oct1985
Similar to DUCK82, but more frequent surveys and a permanent array of surf zone instrumentation were used to measure the processes.

DUCK82 October 1982
A multi-agency nearshore processes experiment was conducted to measure the nearshore morphological response to storm-induced waves and currents. This experiment provided some of the first ever quantitative data on the rapid bottom changes that occur in the surf zone during storms.

Beneficial use of dredged material is a priority for the USACE. Placement of dredged material as nearshore berms could provide for shorline stability and greatly reduce the cost...