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Open-File Report O-11-17, Baseline Observations and Modeling for the Reedsport Wave Energy Site, Douglas County, Oregon: Monitoring Beach and Shoreline Morphodynamics, by Jonathan C. Allan, Roger Hart, and Laura L. Stimely

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Publication contains 28-page text report PDF.

About this publication

The wave climate offshore the Pacific Northwest (PNW) coasts of Oregon and Washington has been identified as a potential environment for the establishment of wave energy devices that can be used to harness the energy potential provided by ocean waves. Because wave energy arrays by definition will remove a portion of the energy of the waves and will create a shadow region of lower wave energy landward of the devices, there remain concerns about the potential effects such devices may have on the morphodynamics of beaches adjacent to wave energy farms.

To understand the potential effects of wave energy arrays on sediment transport processes, a collaborative team of investigators from Oregon State University (OSU) and the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI) initiated a field-based monitoring program in May 2009 in order to begin documenting the natural variability of the beach, nearshore, and wave climate adjacent to the proposed Ocean Power Technology (OPT) Reedsport wave energy site, located offshore from the north Umpqua Spit, Douglas County, Oregon. Core elements of the monitoring program included measurements of the waves and currents in the vicinity of the planned wave energy array, numerical modeling of the background wave climate, and nearshore bathymetry and shoreline observations to document the baseline conditions at the project site. Phase 1 of the project (funded by the Oregon Wave Energy Trust [OWET]), focused on documenting baseline conditions at the Reedsport OPT site, commenced in May 2009 and concluded on December 31, 2009. Early in 2010, additional funding was provided by OWET that enabled the period of baseline data collection to be extended over the latter half of the 2009/2010 winter and throughout spring and early summer, capturing one full year of beach and nearshore observations.

This report describes and summarizes baseline observations from one component of the observation program focused on monitoring the response of the beach and shorelines along approximately 16 km of the north Umpqua Spit shoreline.

Shoreline change at north Umpqua Spit

« Preview image of Figure 8 from Open-File Report O-11-17: Historical and contemporary shoreline changes at the north Umpqua Spit derived from multiple data sources including National Ocean Service topographic “T” sheets, lidar data flown in 1998, 2002, and 2008, and RTK-DGPS surveys of a tidal datum-based shoreline.