WALLOPS ISLAND, VA

Millersville University, along with other Pennsylvania Colleges, has a direct link to the NASA/Goddard Wallops Flight Facility through the Marine Science Constorium, located at Wallops Island, VA. The collaborative research between institutes has resulted in unique undergraduate educational opportunities.

In the picture, I am using a totals station to survey the coastal terrian alongside Justin Gilchirst and McAuthur Jones. This data is being used to validate the airborne LiDAR observation from NASA's Airborne Topographic Mapper. This is in support of a National Fish and Wildlife funded project to map and monitor the effects of sea level rise on sensitive coastal regions.

 

PREVIOUS RESEARCH TOPICS

CODAR OBSERVED SPATIAL RESOLUTION OF TIDAL DYNAMICS ALONG THE DELMARVA PENINSULA

 

Tidal harmonics were computed using a year of observations from three CODAR Coastal Observing Systems deployed along the Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia coast under support from the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS). The resulting tidal current estimates were then removed from the raw HF Radar (CODAR) current estimates to render a composite of the mean surface circulation pattern for this coastal ocean region. We found that tidal currents in this region account for up to 60% of the total current variability, particularly at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. Using the tidal harmonics, a year’s worth of daily progressive vector diagrams were analyzed in order to ascertain the level of ‘jitter’ that one could expect from obtaining hourly images from a geostationary hyperspectral ocean color satellite such as NASA’s GEO-CAPE mission.  The figure gives a quick, and crude, indication of the ‘jitter’ or variability. 

- This project has been published in KJUR: click here
- For the poster presentation at Ocean Science, 2010: click here
- This project was supported by an appointment to the NASA USRP Program with supervison from Dr. John Moisan
   

A SIMPLE TECHNIQUE TO REMOVE TIDES FROM SHIPBORNE ADCP DATA

 

This is a collaborative effort with Justin Gilchirst.  Our objective was to provide a simple yet effective technique to remove the tidal components from vessel mounted ADCP data.  As a means of doing so, I used harmonic analysis to identify the tidal influences portrayed by the Regional Ocean Model System (ROMS) for the Chesapeake and adjacent shelf.  Justin then removed that modeled tidal signal from the ADCP observations collected on the BIOME cruises to give a residual current. Initial results indicate some success however, more analysis was needed. To the left is a video showing the ROMS tidal signaure entering in the Chesapeake Bay.

- This project was supported by Millersville University Undergraduate Research Grant and the MU Noonan Grant with supervison from Dr. Ajoy Kumar.
- For the poster presentation at Ocean Science, 2010: click here
   

LIDAR OBSERVED COASTAL CHANGES ALONG WALLOPS/ASSATEAGUE ISLAND, VA

 

This project has two phases. The first was to describe the physical, oceanographic characteristics of Chincoteague Bay and the continental shelf off the coast of Wallops Island, VA.  I participated in data collection cruises however, my primary role was to develop software packages in IDL to quickly analyze and plot vertical profiles and cross-shelf transects for CTD data. The objective of the second phase is to observe sea level rise, erosion, and vegetation/habitat migration along Assateague Island and Wallops Island, VA with NASA’s Airborne Topographic Mapper.  To the right is an initial look at the LIDAR mapped terrain over Wallops Island, VA. Please conact Dr. Ajoy Kumar for project details and updates.

- For a brief project abstract on the LiDAR project: click here
   

IDENTIFYING FLOODED AREAS USING AMSR-E OBSERVATIONS

 

The purpose of this internship was to identify flooded areas using AMSR-E observations. Seven different wavelength-signals are typically used to extract a flood index—the vertical and horizontal 6.9 GHz, 10.7 GHz, and 18GHz signals, along with the 36.5 GHz vertical signal.  Using the Change Vector Analysis (change detection), along with various arrangements of the signals and their sequential structure, the hypothesis is that it is possible for flooded areas to be identified. Experiments using a band ratio of the 6.9 GHz horizontal frequency to the 36.5 GHz vertical frequency have confirmed that flood detection is possible using these techniques, although resolution issues remain. The figure depicts the extreme flooding caused by Cyclone Nagris in Myanmar on May 5th, 2008. Blue is stronger flooding than green.

- For the poster presentation at the AMS Meeting in 2009: click here.
- This project was supported by an appointment to the NOAA Hollings Memorial Scholarship Program with supervison from Dr. Xiwu Zhan.
   

ANALYSIS OF THE IPCC AR4 PROJECTED CLIMATE OVER THE CHESAPEAKE BAY WATERSHED

 

The purpose of the internship was to analyze the projected climate over the Chesapeake Bay Watershed by the IPCC AR4 models.  As a means of doing this the A2 and B1 emission scenarios were chosen because they represent the largest range of direction in all the emission scenarios.  By removing some poorly performing models versus the 20th century data, the mean model was able to undergo a statistically significant improvement.  With an improved mean model, it is projected that mean annual temperature will increase across the watershed by 4.65 degrees Celsius under the A2 emissions scenario and 2.49 degrees Celsius under the B1 scenario by the end of the century (see figure).  Additionally, annual precipitation is projected to increase by 5.04% under the B1 scenario and 7.18% under the A2 scenario with the greatest increases projected for winter and spring.  These results lack error analysis but given an initial look the climate projections over the watershed and, provided a starting point for the Maryland Commission on Climate Change.

- For the poster presentation at the StormFest, 2008 in Pittsburgh, PA: click here.
- This project was supported by an appointment to the University of Maryland Sea Grant REU Program with supervison from Dr. Victoria Coles.
   
RESEARCH TOPICS