Skip to Navigation | Skip to Content

FYRES: Research

Vashan Wright investigates sand transport at a Lake Michigan beach.

A Sand Transport Rate Model and Michigan Dunes

Mentor/Investigator: Vanshan Wright
Partnered with students from Physics 133

Poster Abstract: Mathematical models are useful for predicting real-world phenomena, but can a sand transport model help researchers understand processes on Lake Michigan dunes?  This study investigates predicted and actual sand transport rates at a beach site in P.J Hoffmaster State Park, Michigan. In November 2011, actual sand transport rates were measured using Leatherman sand-traps employed for thirty-minute periods. Wind data were collected with an anemometer array at the study area; surface conditions were also recorded, including fetch distance and surface moisture content. Predicted sand transport rates were calculated using Hsu’s mathematical model and wind data collected at the field site. When compared to field measurements, Hsu’s model tends to over-predict sand transport rate. Investigating models might be a helpful way to simplify and understand what is going on at Lake Michigan coastal dunes. Abstract (pdf). Full poster (pdf).

Conference Presentation: Wright, Vashan and Deanna van Dijk (2012). “Can the Use of Hsu’s Model for Sand Transport Rates Help Scientists Understand Lake Michigan Coastal Dunes?” Annual Meeting of the Michigan Academy of Science, Arts and Letters, Alma College (Alma, MI), 2 March 2012; poster. Abstract (pdf). Poster (pdf).

Research Information

FYRES 2011-2012 produced 4 research projects, 5 presentations (3 papers and 2 posters) at the Michigan Academy in March 2012, and 3 research reports.