In May 2023, Drs. Justin Shawler and Brian Harris (ERDC-CHL) led a pilot field study in partnership with collaborators at the University of Florida (UF) to investigate dune geophysical properties. This research, led by Leigh Provost (ERDC-CHL) as part of the Network for Engineering With Nature (N-EWN), focuses on sand dune restoration strategies and the influence of vegetation on dune erosion.
The group collected field data at a natural sand dune in the Guana-Tolomato-Matanzas (GTM) National Estuarine Research Reserve. Dr. Harris oversaw collection of geotechnical data including dynamic cone penetrometer profiles. Dr. Shawler led geological data collection including vibracores and ground-penetrating radar (GPR) profiles.
The Lessons Learned will be used to better plan and execute a full-scale investigation later this summer. The team identified several field sites in St. John’s, Flagler, and Volusia counties and within the GTM Reserve and Fort Matanzas National Monument. The field data collection goals are to characterize the range of geomorphic and geotechnical properties that describe natural, restored, and highly engineered Northeast Florida dunes and to ultimately incorporate the dune vegetation and geophysical metrics into dune erosion models.
The full N-EWN project team includes from ERDC: Leigh Provost, Justin Shawler, Brian Harris, Candice Piercy, Molly Reif, Sam Jackson, and Nick Cohn, and from University of Florida: Christine Angelini, Maitane Olabarrieta, Hallie Fischman, Joe Morton, and Orlando Cordero.