Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union

Workshop on geophysical grain flows



“Geophysical Grain Flows: Fluid-Grain Interactions in Coastal Sand Transport” was the focus of a workshop held from March 10 to 14 on Amelia Island, Fla. The workshop was sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the University of Florida. Approximately thirty-five participants from ten different countries attended, representing universities, government laboratories, and private companies.

During the workshop, one of the largest and strongest storms in the recorded history of North America impacted the eastern half of the United States. The local response of the beach at Amelia Island to this storm was striking and somewhat surprising. There was substantial accretion and widening of the beach. While the morphological changes in the beach profile were of medium to large scale, it is intriguing to realize that the changes resulted from the integrated motion of an uncountable number of sand grains, each moving more or less independently, yet cumulatively producing a wider beach.