UNH Ocean Seminar

Using Unmanned Survey Vehicles to Measure Coastal Morphodynamic Processes and Improve Models

Peter Traykovski
Assoc. Scientist with Tenure

Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering Dept.
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Friday, Apr. 12, 2024, 3:10pm
Chase 105

This talk will describe the development of a small surf capable USV and its use in conducting bathymetric surveys to improve sand bar migration models. Surveys were conducted at Pea Island, NC, South shore of Martha’s Vineyard MA, and East facing beaches of Cape Cod. Surveys strategies were adapted to the unique challenges of each environment and new features such as real-time data transmission and map generation were developed to ensure successful outcomes. Along with the bathymetric data structure from motion topography from a tethered blimp or GNSS track line data from a back-pack system was usually collected to create bathy-topo maps from –10 m depths to + 3 m elevations. Data from the surveys documented both offshore sandbar migration during a highly energetic wave event at Martha’s Vineyard (4 m wave height) and onshore migration at Pea Island in response to moderate energy waves. 

Coupled nearshore hydrodynamic, sediment transport and morphology models such as Xbeach typically require different scaling coefficients for wave skewness and acceleration sand transport terms to hindcast onshore or offshore sand bar migration, e.g., the direction of migration needs to be known a-priori for successful hindcasts. The talk will describe implementing a new bedload model based on measurements of wave formed ripple migration into Xbeach and the implication for sand bar migration prediction. The new bedload model has enhanced transport rates at low stresses compared to those currently included in XBeach which results in improved ability to predict on and offshore sand bar migration events with a single set of tuning coefficients. 

Peter Traykovski received his B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from Duke University in Durham, NC in 1988, an M.S. & Ocean Engineer degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology & Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Join Program (MIT&WHOI) in Cambridge and Woods Hole, MA in 1994, and a Ph.D. in Applied Ocean Sciences and Engineering from the MIT & WHOI Joint program in 1998.

He was a post-doctoral investigator at WHOI from 1998 to 2000 and has been employed there as a scientist since 2000. He currently holds the position of Associate Scientist with Tenure in the department of Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering. His research interests include Sediment Transport, Coastal Processes, and Acoustical Oceanography. In sediment transport, his research has focused on measurements and modeling of time dependent bedform morphology and the dynamics of high concentration fine sediment (fluid mud) flows in the wave boundary layer.  One of his most important contributions was the discovery of wave supported turbidity flows of fluid mud on relatively flat continental shelves in the late 1990’s.  In addition to his scientific interests, he has also focused on developing technology for measuring sediment transport processes and coastal morphology. This has included adapting high frequency imaging sonars for autonomous use in the ocean and development of pulse-coherent Doppler profilers for measuring turbulent flows. More recently he has been active in developing low cost autonomous surface vessels (ASVs) for coastal oceanographic and bathymetric survey. Combining measurements from with topography generated with unmanned aerial system (UAS)  photogrammetric techniques allows high resolution and rapid repeat interval surveying of coastal systems.

Dr. Traykovski a member of the Acoustical Society of America, American Geophysical Union and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.