GSA Connects 2021 in Portland, Oregon

Paper No. 211-3
Presentation Time: 8:35 AM


COX, Ronadh1, KENNEDY, Andrew B.2, BERKE, Melissa A.2, GUANNEL, Gregory3, ENGEL, Max4, LAU, A.Y. Annie5 and MORI, Nobuhito6, (1)Williams CollegeGeosciences Department, 947 Main St, Williamstown, MA 01267-2606, (2)Civil & Environmental Engineering & Earth Sciences, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556, (3)Caribbean Green Technology Center, University of the Virgin Islands, St. Thomas, 00802, Virgin Islands (U.S.), (4)Laboratory for Geomorphology and Geoecology, Universität Heidelberg, Heidelberg, 69120, Germany, (5)School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia, (6)Disaster Prevention Research Institute, Kyoto University, Kyoto, 606-8501, Japan

Supratidal coastal boulder deposits (CBD) result from extreme marine inundation on rocky shores. They are important for understanding coastal waves, and have predictive value for future events. But they are poorly studied, and their interpretation remains contentious, with debate on whether they record storms, tsunami, or both. In the case of older deposits, uncertainties about paleo sea-level contribute additional uncertainty. These ambiguities impact risk analysis: should CBD data be part of tsunami risk catalogues, or storminess indices? The hydrodynamics and climatology leading to CBD generation are also still unclear. There are two main obstacles to deeper understanding: a lack of data on CBD worldwide; and discrepant approaches that lead to difficulties in comparing data from different sites. Building community and interaction among CBD researchers, and awareness of CBD as research targets, can help grow our knowledge.

ISROC—Inundation Signatures on Rocky Coastlines— is an NSF-funded Research Coordination Network to define the CBD problem chain and identify research gaps by developing a broad and diverse network of researchers. The authors are the PIs and steering group. We plan to extend the community of researchers, in particular to include underrepresented groups; to facilitate development of standards and best practices for gathering and archiving CBD data; to develop cyberinfrastructure for uploading, visualizing, and analyzing data; and train the next generation of CBD researchers. To do this, we will create opportunities for cross-disciplinary collaboration and exchange.

Using CBD to reconstruct coastal inundation history and climatology is a prime example of convergence research that cannot be solved by one discipline. The RCN will include geologists, geographers, oceanographers, engineers, hydrodynamicists, geophysicists, climatologists and paleoclimatologists. We hope that participants will share expertise, brainstorm and adopt best approaches, and attack CBD research questions unsolvable by any single discipline. Activities will include meetings, student training and exchanges; sessions in future years at GSA, EGU, AGU, etc.; consolidation of approaches and data; and user-friendly, fully accessible online data archiving. Understanding past inundation and how CBD form and evolve will both help to quantify present-day risk and will provide guidance for what to expect from future climate and sea level.