UNH Ocean Seminar

Geotechnical Characterization of Exposed Intertidal Flats at the Great Bay Estuary

Julie Paprocki
Assistant Professor

Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of New Hampshire

Friday, Sep. 30, 2022, 3:10pm
Chase 105

The strength and consolidation characteristics of tidal mudflats are important for the assessment of vehicle trafficability when mudflats are emerged, the design of coastal infrastructure, and the protection of coastal communities from erosion.  However, few studies have investigated the relevant geotechnical properties of tidal mudflats resulting in the range and magnitude of these properties to be generally unknown. The loose, unconsolidated nature of these soils complicate measurements, leading to significant sample disturbance and inadequate measurements in the laboratory. Traditional geotechnical tools for site characterization are also often inadequate due to their size and weight, making traditional high-quality measurements difficult on tidal mudflats. Further complicating measurements are the seasonal changes in storm events, weather patterns (such as ice formation and rainfall), and biological processes that influence the erosion and deposition of these sediments. To characterize the strength of these soils, two field campaigns were conducted on exposed tidal mudflats in the Great Bay Estuary, where novel techniques for characterizing these mudflats were explored. This presentation will discuss the results of these two surveys and discuss pathways for future work regarding the characterization of tidal mudflats. 


Julie Paprocki is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UNH, specializing in coastal and marine geotechnics. Her research interests primarily involve the use of satellite-based remote sensing for coastal applications and the characterization of coastal soils. She received her B.S in 2017 from the University of Cincinnati, M.S. in 2018 from Virginia Tech, and a Ph.D. from Virginia Tech in 2022.