Why Are There TV Antennas On The Beach In Bethany


wave meters, university of Delaware, beach erosion study,
Wave meters are all lined up and missing one thanks to storm Toby

The other day while making videos of the storm surge from storm Toby, the spring nor’easter.  I took some random shots of Bethany beach and posted the videos and pictures.  I didn’t think much about it, but dozens of people have asked me what are those TV antennas doing on the beach.  Most thought it was something that washed up from the storm, like the black sea bass buoys we see on occasion.  I wanted to say aliens left them there, but I knew that would just start the Facebook speculation up in full swing.  Which as entertaining as that can be at times, I just didn’t have the time.  I already knew what they were and why they were there, it is for a for a student’s master’s project.


Wave study or measuring devices getting rocked by storm Toby

The “antennas” are actually wave measuring devices or meters.  They were put there by the University of Delaware to measure water level, how fast the water is moving, and  the water level or sand level if there’s no water.  These were deployed in March for the first storm that hit, and are reset on occasion by Jack Puleo, a professor at the University of Delaware’s Center for Applied Coastal Research.

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His team wants to know if the beaches erode the most at the beginning, during, or the end of the storm.  At what point does the beach hit a critical threshold that causes the most erosion.  Knowing how fast the water flows during a storm is useful.  This data can be used to predict how the beach will evolve during and after storms.

It is good to see studies like this being done, we could use this research data even for beach replenishment projects.  Critical erosion areas could be shored up with sand to help with erosion issues.  This morning the meters were still there witha jetty exposed right next to them.  For the most part they held their ground, but at least two were missing.  Hopefully they can find the missing meters and collect the data.  They are probably near the sets of stairs that washed up below Sea Colony.

Fish On!

Rich King

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