Researchers from University of California San Diego and OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center really hustled this week to erect an impressive set of “in the surf” and “below ground” beachside sensors that will record ocean wave behavior for this weekend’s major storms that are due to come ashore Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Researchers were beaming with optimism that their just-established array of sensors will record a lot of valuable data from Agate Beach as the wave run up of energy is recorded in great detail. They say they’re recording data to be used in analyzing the rise of global warming and its effects on wind energy that blows the waves ashore in Oregon. They say the data will be used by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to forecast wave heights that can threaten port facilities, waterfront highways and roads as well as beaches in general. They say their data collection on wave behavior has no link whatsoever with the wave energy industry that is seeking to get a toe-hold in offshore regions along the Oregon Coast.
The wave run up operation will commence this weekend and run through late November. Researchers say they’ll be satisfied with the data they get even before the stronger winter storms arrive because, as one researcher put it, “We don’t know if our equipment could survive such pounding for that long a time. We’re from Southern California – this is Oregon!”