Marine Science Faculty Publications

Multibeam Observations of Mine Burial Near Clearwater, FL, Including Comparisons to Predictions of Wave-Induced Burial

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Sea floor, Instruments, Geology, Hydrodynamics, Sea measurements, Laboratories, Sonar, Testing, Predictive models, Oceanographic techniques

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A Kongsberg Simrad EM 3000 multibeam sonar (Kongsberg Simrad, Kongsberg, Norway) was used to conduct a set of six repeat high-resolution bathymetric surveys west of Indian Rocks Beach (IRB), just to the south of Clearwater, FL, between January and March 2003, to observe in situ scour and burial of instrumented inert mines and mine-like cylinders. Three closely located study sites were chosen: two fine-sand sites, a shallow one located in 13 m of water depth and a deep site located in 14 m of water depth; and a coarse-sand site in 13 m. Results from these surveys indicate that mines deployed in fine sand are nearly buried within two months of deployment (i.e., they sunk 74.5% or more below the ambient seafloor depth). Mines deployed in coarse sand showed a lesser amount of scour, burying until they present roughly the same hydrodynamic roughness as the surrounding rippled bedforms. These data were also used to test the validity of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS, Gloucester Point, VA) 2-D burial model. The model worked well in areas of fine sand, sufficiently predicting burial over the course of the experiment. In the area of coarse sand, the model greatly overpredicted the amount of burial. This is believed to be due to the presence of rippled bedforms around the mines, which affect local bottom morphodynamics and are not accounted for in the model, an issue currently being addressed by the modelers. This paper focuses specifically on two instrumented mines: an acoustic mine located in fine sand and an optical instrumented mine located in coarse sand.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering, v. 32, issue 1, p. 103-118