Contact

Bret M. Webb, Ph.D., P.E., D.CE
Professor
University of South Alabama
150 Jaguar Drive, SH3142
Mobile, AL 36688 USA
Phone: (251) 460-6174
Fax: (251) 461-1400
Email: bwebb@southalabama.edu

Research Positions

None available at this time

Current Research Assistants

SE Students
Garland Pennison

 

MSCE Students
Patrick Hautau
Marshall Hayden
Kate Haynes
Justin Lowlavar
Vijaya Satya Lohitha Mukkamala
Jackie Wittmann

 

Undergraduate Students
Derek Kelly
Rh'Monte Wilson

Former Students

MSCE Students
Bryan Groza (2016)
Kari Servold (2015)
Chris Marr (2013)
Richard Allen (2013)
Miyuki Matthews (2012)

 

Post Docs
Jon Risinger
Jungwoo Lee

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Pres-cover-pageThe latest study out of our ACES center (Applied Coastal Engineering & Science) is now available. The study, entitled “Lake Forest Mapping: Analysis of Shoaling and Pool Volumes,” was recently completed for the Lake Forest Property Owner’s Association and the City of Daphne with contracting support provided by the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program. The goals of the study were to determine how much sediment has accumulated in the Lake Forest lake (reservoir) since the time of dam construction in 1973/1974, where the largest accumulations of sediment have occurred, and what the remaining normal pool volume is within the lake.

We collected over 12,000 new elevation measurements within and around the lake to map the sediment elevations and also analyzed eight (8) shallow sediment push cores from the lake bed. The results of the study show that over 300,000 cubic yards of medium to coarse grained sediments have accumulated, or shoaled, within the present-day lake shoreline since 1973/1974. Approximately 80% of the lake has shoaled by some measurable amount since the time of dam construction, with some areas accumulating over ten (10) feet of sediment! As a result, the pool volume of the lake has decreased by about 60% due to the accumulation of sediments. The remaining volume could perhaps accommodate another 90 years of sediment input at the current reported rate of 7800 tons per year (as per Cook & Moss, 2008[1]), but the margin for error is quite large.

I presented these study results at a recent Mobile Bay National Estuary Program’s Project Implementation Committee Meeting. A copy of that presentation [2] can be downloaded {here}.  A copy of the final study report [3] can be downloaded {here}.  Please include proper attribution and/or citation [2,3] when reusing these data, results, graphics, and/or figures.

[1] Cook, M., and Moss, N. 2008. Analysis of Water Quality, Sediment Loading Rates, Biological Resources, and Impacts of Land-Use Change on the D’Olive and Tiawasee Creek Watersheds, Baldwin County, Alabama, 2008. Geological Survey of Alabama, Open File Report 08-11: 92 pp.

[2] Webb, B.M. 2016. Lake Forest Mapping: Analysis of Shoaling and Pool Volumes. Mobile Bay National Estuary Program Project Implementation Committee Meeting. August 18, 2016. Presentation.

[3] Webb, B.M. 2016. Lake Forest Mapping: Analysis of Shoaling and Pool Volumes. University of South Alabama, Center for Applied Coastal Engineering and Science, Technical Report No. 16-002F. 41 pp.

 

Fig07 for web site

Our manuscript entitled “Spatial Variability of Hydrodynamic Timescales in a Broad and Shallow Estuary: Mobile Bay, Alabama” has been published by the Journal of Coastal Research. The manuscript is currently available online as a pre-print. The final version with color will be available in the coming months. Please {click on this link} for access to the manuscript.

The results presented in this new manuscript by Webb and Marr (2016) were initially developed as part of Chris Marr’s thesis research back in 2013. This new manuscript presents a much more narrow focus of his work and some new analyses as well. For more information about this work please review the {thesis} by Marr and/or this previous {blog post}.

 

 

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The Coastal & Estuarine Research Federation held their 22nd biennial conference in sunny San Diego, CA back in November 2013. The theme of the conference, “Toward Resilient Coasts and Estuaries, Science for Sustainable Solutions,” was evident throughout the event. There were a number of excellent sessions and presentations during the conference, as well as some good side conversations!

 

I gave two presentations at last year’s CERF meeting: one on living shorelines and another on work that Chris Marr completed for his MSCE thesis in 2013. The citations and abstracts are linked below. Please contact me if you are interested in either (or both) presentations.

 

 

 

 

 

  • Marr, C. D., Webb, B. M. 2013. Hydrodynamic modeling of turnover times in Mobile Bay, Alabama and their sensitivity to tides, fluvial discharge, and meteorological forcing. Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation, November 3 – 7, San Diego, CA.

 

 

McCoy UCUR 2013 Poster post image

 

Congratulations to Clay McCoy on his successful presentation of research results at the University of South Alabama Undergraduate Research Symposium. Clay participated in the UCUR research program during Summer 2013. For his research topic Clay chose to develop a conceptual sediment budget for Little Lagoon Pass in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Using annual monitoring data provided by the City of Gulf Shores, Clay was able to estimate volume changes in the beach profiles east and west of the pass.

 

Clay’s work will be extended in the future to develop a more comprehensive sediment budget for the pass. The final sediment budget will account for not only volume changes in the beach profiles, but also changes in shoreline position, engineering activities (e.g., dredge and fill), wave-driven longshore and cross-shore sand transport, as well as sea level rise. Click on the image at right for a reduced-scale version of Clay’s research poster.

 

 

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One of my graduate students, Chris Marr, recently completed his thesis research on the spatial variability of residence, exposure, and flushing times of Mobile Bay, Alabama. A copy of Chris’ final thesis can be found {here}.

 

I was given the opportunity to present Chris’ research results at today’s 2013 Alabama Water Resources Conference in Orange Beach, Alabama. Click on the image at right for a PDF of the presentation. For those of you that didn’t make it to see the presentation, I narrated a version and have embedded the video below.

 

 

 

*Note: we have modified the results slightly based on recent input from colleagues. The changes generally only affect results in Bon Secour Bay. The narration and presentation show the update results.