Estuaries are semi-enclosed bodies of water where freshwater mixes with seawater and are critical ecological areas because of their biological productivity and valuable habitat. Estuarine behavior is influenced by its morphology and exchange of water, sediments and solutes. Shoreline change and seabed sedimentation are important processes influencing estuaries. Also, human activities on land and in the sea have impacted the form and function of these systems. Our research is aimed at quantifying and understanding estuarine system dynamics, particularly the Albemarle-Pamlico Estuarine System.
Eulie, D. J.P. Walsh, D.R. Corbett, 2013. High-Resolution Measurements of Shoreline Change and Application of Balloon-Aerial Photography, Albemarle-Pamlico Estuarine System, North Carolina, USA. Limnology and Oceanography: Methods. 11, 151-160.
Cowart, L., D.R. Corbett, J.P. Walsh, 2011. Shoreline Change along Sheltered Coastlines: Insights from the Neuse River Estuary, NC. Remote Sensing, 3, 1516-1534.
Kirwan, M., A.B. Murray, J.P. Donnelly, D.R. Corbett, 2011 Rapid wetland expansion during European settlement and its implication for marsh survival under modern sediment delivery rates. Geology, 39(5) 507-510.
Cowart, L., Walsh, J.P. and D.R. Corbett. 2010. Analyzing Estuarine Shoreline Change: A Case Study of Cedar Island, NC. Journal of Coastal Research, 6(5): 817-830.
Featured research: Mapping and measuring estuarine shoreline change
The Albemarle-Pamlico Estuarine System is the second largest estuarine in the U.S. It is home to many critical habitats, making these areas invaluable environmentally and economically (e.g., for commercial fishing and tourism). With coastal development, regular storms and accelerating sea-level rise, estuaries are expected to be altered over time, but the nature of changes requires better understanding. Our research occurs above, below and at the water surface. For example, we have worked extensively in collaboration with the NC Division of Coastal Management to map out the shoreline digitally (with high-end computer software, called Geographic Information Systems or GIS). But, we also go into the field (and water) to collect cores and or take measurements as seen above.