Coastal Current Monitoring Network

Two current profilers and wave sensors were installed during spring 2014 taking advantage of the infrastructure of Bob Hall Pier, Corpus Christi, Texas. The sensors provide near real-time measurements of nearshore conditions including significant wave height, typical wave period, average along and cross-shore currents and current profiles. The instruments are gathering a rare long-term data set of nearshore conditions along the Texas coast. One of the sensors provides current profiles up to 120 m offshore of the end of the pier in bins of 11 m while the other sensor monitors currents in the nearshore in narrower bins with the potential for identification of rip currents.image001

Schematic of Deployment GeometryThe instruments are installed near two inlets and associated sensitive avian and aquatic habitat. In addition this monitoring station provides invaluable near real-time information to facilitate the prediction of oil movement and the deployment of protection measures in case of oil spill (e.g. May-June 2015). The measurements will also help to better understand and model sediment transport along the coast and more specifically for the periodic renourishment and maintenance of the nearby popular beaches located along Mustang and North Padre Island. Other applications include providing information appropriate for search and rescue situations, reporting surf conditions and alerting beach-goers to conditions favorable to the onset of rip currents.

The sensors have so far allowed for measurements in various conditions such as seasonal frontal passages and strong southerly wind events which typify the climate along the south Texas coast. One of the current profilers is collocated (<5m) with a station from the National Water Level Observation Network (NWLON) providing water level and atmospheric observations. The relationship between longshore currents and significant wave height and the NWLON measurements identified strong correlations allowing for near real-time nowcast models. The near real-time nowcasted variables are presented below along with the actual measurements. At some point the instruments will be removed and only the nowcast models will remain. A more detailed discussion of the sensors’ measurements, their climatology as well as comparison with nowcasts from the Northern Gulf of Mexico Operational Forecast System (NGOFS) are presented in conference proceeding and presentations accessible through the links at the bottom of this webpage.


Most Recent Bob Hall Pier Measurements and Nowcasts

Bob Hall Pier Current Meter
Retrieving Significant Wave Height…
Retrieving Longshore Current information…

Model Nowcasts based on Bob Hall Pier NWLON Station Measurements
Retrieving Water Level Standard Deviation…
Retrieving Alongshore Wind information…

Visit the Bob Hall Pier App Here, or look at the app display below.

Publications and Presentations:

Tissot, P.E., Dell, L., Rizzo, J. and Williams, D. (2015) “Nearshore Wave and Current Measurements/Predictions on the Texas Coast ”. Proceedings and oral presentation at the 13th Symposium on the Coastal Environment, part of the AMS 95th Annual Meeting, 4-8 January 2015, Phoenix, Az. [Both available online at].

Koskowich, B., Dell, L., Picarazzi, G., Picarazzi F. and Tissot, P.E. (2015) “Geospatial Reconciliation of Tar on The Gulf Coast”. Presentation at the 2015 EnerGIS conference, Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, May 19 2015 ( Brad won the 2015 EnerGIS scholarship Grand Prize.

Dell, L., Picarazzi, G., Picarazzi, F. and Tissot, P.E. (2015) “Comparison of Longshsore Currents with NGOFS Predictions”. Poster presentation at the ASBPA Texas Chapter Symposium, March 20th, 2015, Corpus Christi, Texas.

Tissot, P.E., Rizzo, J. and Williams, D. (2014) “Nearshore Measurements and Correlations of Wave and Current Profiles”. Oral presentation at the 2014 American Shore and Beach Preservation Association National Conference, October 15-17, 2014, Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Tissot, P.E., Rizzo, J. and Williams, D. (2015) “Nearshore Wave and Current Measurements in the Coastal Bend”. Oral presentation at the ASBPA Texas Chapter Symposium, March 20th, 2015, Corpus Christi, Texas.

Links to additional station data:

Offshore looking sensor

Nearshore looking sensor