Date of Award
Bachelor of Science (BS)
College of Science
Richard F. Viso
A hybrid scholarly-research paper on the use of multibeam sonar data in seafloor mapping and seafloor analysis was written to satisfy Honors Program requirements. Literature review of multibeam sonar technology explored the improving concept of mapping the seafloor via acoustic methods. The review also investigated improvements and applications of multibeam data analysis techniques, which have the ability to map the seafloor as well as characterize the seafloor by morphology or sediment content. The review then explored previous studies conducted on the Little River Inlet, SC, finding the inlet to be particularly understudied in the field of sediment morphology. Three multibeam sonar surveys conducted within the span of 20 months were analyzed to investigate changes in Little River Inlet morphology over time. Two surveys allowed for an investigation of the effects of Hurricane Matthew on the inlet as well. Lack of spatial coverage or water flow data for the inlet resulted in inconclusive findings. Bedform elongation and migration in some areas after Hurricane Matthew suggests elevated fresh water inputs, although further comprehensive studies are needed to verify and quantify the theory. While bedform asymmetry suggests a long-term sediment transport seaward, pattern migration near the inlet's entrance suggests landward migration over time. Further intensive surveying and analysis is needed to better understand the Little River Inlet morphology, and how large storm events can affect inlets of this type.
O'Brien, Malarie, "A Multibeam Bathymetric Investigation of Changes in Bedform Morphology of the Little River Inlet as a Result of Hurricane Matthew" (2017). Honors Theses. 2.