Field Research Facility
Coastal & Hydraulics Laboratory
SandyDuck '97 Coastal Field Experiment
| SandyDuck Home | Overview | Experiments | Facts and Instruments | Media Material | Organization and Data Sharing | Instrument Layout | Sediment Data | Picture Gallery | Participant Photos |
Anyone who's been at the beach and felt sand moving between their toes knows that waves and currents reaching the shoreline can easily move sand. This movement causes beaches to erode and rebuild. Our lack of understanding of just how this happens has limited the ability of coastal scientists and engineers to simulate the natural beach cycle. As a result, predictions concerning the impact of the next hurricane or the long-term movement of the coast are not as good as we need them to be, and this affects our coastal management decisions. Just what makes a grain of sediment move and where does it go?

To answer this and many other coastal science questions, leading national and international coastal scientists spent the summer and fall of 1997 at Duck, NC as participants in SandyDuck '97, an ambitious coastal field experiment designed to improve our fundamental knowledge of the natural processes that cause beaches to change. SandyDuck was sponsored by the US Army Corps of Engineers, the Office of Naval Research and the US Geological Survey. It was hosted at the US Army Engineer Research and Development Center Field Research Facility (FRF) to take advantage of the FRF's unique logistic capabilities, staff expertise, and location. Although some experiments began in August and ran until the end of November, the primary measurement period began 22 Sep and ran until 31 Oct 1997. In terms of the number of participants and instruments, SandyDuck was the largest coastal field experiment yet undertaken.

More information regarding SandyDuck is available through the links below:
Go Directly to the Data Server =====>

  • General Overview of the Experiment: A brief description of SandyDuck science objectives and participants.
  • Descriptions of Individual Experiments: A ~50-page HTML document that describes each of the 29 SandyDuck investigations. This is the best source of information about what data were collected. (note: takes about 3 min to load on a 28.8 modem - but can be printed in its entirety).
  • SandyDuck Facts and Instruments: Some interesting facts about SandyDuck and descriptions of the types of instruments that were used.
  • SandyDuck Media Material: Press releases, tip sheet, and other press-related material.
  • Organization and Data Sharing: Describes makeup and responsibilities of the SandyDuck organizing committees, and the agreed upon policy for sharing collected data.
  • Instrument Layout Information: Links to plots and tables showing the location of the various instruments and survey lines.
  • Sediment Data: SandyDuck sediment data including size distributions and statistics. Available in several formats.
  • SandyDuck '97 Gallery Photographic shows of SandyDuck activities from the arrival of participants through instrument deployment, the onset of storms, instrument removal, and departure.
  • Participant Photographs: Pictures of SandyDuck participants.
  • SandyDuck t-Shirt: A special limited experiment shirt, all sold - but check out the graphic!

updated October 13, 2004 - Please note that the SandyDuck web pages were initially created to help plan and execute the experiment and in places they may still imply a "future" experiment.

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