Science Serving Maryland's Coasts

R/EH-3

Prediction of Rip Currents

Principal Investigator: 

Robert A. Dalrymple

Start/End Year: 

2005 to 2008

Institution: 

Johns Hopkins University

Description: 

OBJECTIVES: To develop a simple methodology for prediction of rip currents, based on theories, numerical modeling, and field observation. This methodology would be used to predict hazardous conditions at the shoreline.

METHODOLOGY: Review and verify existing theories using a numerical Boussinesq wave model. Install a beach monitoring system at Ocean City to observe rip current conditions. Work with lifeguards to gather data and test the methodology.

RATIONALE: Rip currents are one of the most deadly of natural hazards and account for most of the rescues by lifeguards. By providing a simple theory-based methodology to predict the likelihood of these currents, people can be warned and lives saved.

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