Development and testing is proceeding on a new device that can measure the potential for erosion and scour in subsurface soils without ever having to excavate and remove a sample for laboratory testing. The In-situ Scour Evaluation Probe (ISEP) comes out of the North Carolina State University’s Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering program. It measures the rate at which self-boring can be accomplished at different rates of water jet flow-though to interpret the erosion potential of the substrate.
We interpret historical aerial photography on a daily basis to get a sense of the record of erosion along coastal beaches. It is exciting to imagine that one day we might be able to deploy this device and make a predictive map of erosional risk, which could be used to strategically direct public and private investments in shoreline protection.