Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan

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Professor Marsik participates in hazardous coastal conditions study

Posted: May 21, 2013

Professor Marsik participates in hazardous coastal conditions study

Professor Frank Marsik and recent AOSS graduate Zachary Ebenstein are participating in a study to better understand the formation and frequency of rip-currents and other dangerous currents.

Hazardous coastal currents are one of the most dangerous weather-related phenomena, with 15 deaths in 2012 attributed to current-related incidents along the Great Lakes.

Marsik is providing forecast support and Ebenstein is providing field assistance.

Dr. Lorelle Meadows of U-M and Michigan Tech University Professor Guy Meadows, formerly of AOSS, are directing the study. The researchers are developing and testing a new, small, portable radar sensor for dangerous currents.

The National Weather Service is using the information collected to improve the accuracy of the forecasting of these complex and strong currents.

The team was able to use two drifting GPS sensors to capture rip current data in Grand Haven.

“It was a great experience to go out into the field and observe these currents as they were occurring and know that what we are doing could potentially save lives in the future,” Ebenstein says.

(Image courtesy of Great Lakes Research Center and Michigan Tech Research Institute)

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