Dr. Byrnes is a Principal Coastal Scientist at
Applied Coastal Research and Engineering, Inc. (Applied Coastal). For
the past 28 years, he has been a Principal Investigator/Program Manager
on more than 80 coastal and nearshore process studies as a Research
Scientist at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center,
Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory (formerly the Coastal Engineering
Research Center); Coastal Geology Section Chief for the Louisiana
Geological Survey; Research Professor at the Coastal Studies Institute,
Louisiana State University; Senior Coastal Scientist at Aubrey
Consulting, Inc.; and Principal Coastal Scientist at Applied Coastal.
The emphasis for most studies has been on regional coastal change
and geomorphic evolution of nearshore sedimentary deposits (shoreline
and bathymetric change), physical
environmental impact assessments for coastal and estuarine wetlands,
sediment budget evaluations, shoreline restoration strategies, wetland
loss delineation and classification, wave transformation and sediment
transport, offshore sand resource assessments, and geologic framework of
coastal deposits. He has authored more than 90 publications in these
Dr. Byrnes has been responsible for managing and
conducting numerous projects focused on coastal sedimentation processes
and regional response of beaches, inlets, and estuaries to incident wave
and current processes.
Projects include Potential Physical Environmental Impact of Oil and Gas
Operations on Wetland Habitat in Coastal Louisiana; Shoreline
Compilation and Change Assessment for the Louisiana Barrier Island
Comprehensive Monitoring Program; Sediment Budget Development and
Coastal Processes Analyses Toward Implementation of the Barrier Island
Restoration Program for Coastal Mississippi; Recommendations for
Implementing the Louisiana Sediment Management Plan for Coastal
Restoration; Quantifying Settlement/Subsidence Associated with Barrier
Beach Restoration in Coastal Louisiana; Damage Assessment Associated
with oiled Wetlands in the Northern Gulf of Mexico; Regional Sediment
Management Assessment for the Northern Gulf of Mexico; Sediment Budget
Evaluation for Mobile Bay; Channel Dredging Impacts on Shoreline
Response at and Adjacent to Main Pass, Mobile Bay Entrance, Alabama;
Environmental Survey of Identified Sand Resource Sites Offshore Alabama,
Central East Florida, North Carolina, New Jersey, and New York; Study of
the Environmental Impacts of Offshore Sand Mining in Massachusetts Bay;
Physical Environmental Impacts of Pipeline Construction and Operation
for the Mardi Gras Pipeline, Barataria Basin, Louisiana; Rockefeller
Refuge Gulf Shoreline Stabilization: Coastal Geology and Processes
Assessment of Beach Response to a Segmented Breakwater System: Southwest
Louisiana Coast; Feasibility of Barrier
Shoreline Restoration in Coastal Louisiana-Coastal Geology,
Geomorphology, and Physical Processes;
Coastal Change Assessment for Brevard County, FL;
Numerical Modeling Evaluation of the Cumulative Physical Effects of
Offshore Sand Dredging for Beach Nourishment; Inlet Sediment Transport
Patterns at Grays Harbor, WA and Development of an Entrance Sediment
Budget; Regional Analysis of Sediment Transport and Dredged Material
Disposal Patterns, Columbia River Mouth, Washington/Oregon, and Adjacent
Shores; and Inlets Online: A Tutorial of Interpreting Aerial Photography
for the Analysis of Sediment Transport Patterns and Geomorphic Change at
GIS/mapping tools and numerical modeling are integral components of the
strategy used to address project objectives.
State-of-knowledge compilation and analysis techniques form the
basis for providing innovative strategies for addressing complex coastal
Assessment and Sediment Budgets
Since 1990, Dr. Byrnes has contracted with Federal
agencies such as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the U.S.
Geological Survey (USGS), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency
(FEMA) to develop state-of-science methods for compiling and analyzing
historical hydrographic and shoreline surveys for quantifying change in
the coastal zone.
Detailed procedures were developed for
compiling historical map data, where conversion from various
cartographic parameters to a common coordinate system, map projection,
ellipsoid, and datum is critical for accurately assessing change and
associated potential measurement uncertainties.
These data represent the most basic and
useful information for evaluating local and regional sediment transport
dynamics and their influence on coastal evolution.
Applied Coastal personnel rely on
hydrographic and shoreline surveys for basic and applied scientific
research on sediment transport dynamics in the coastal zone (USGS and
MMS projects). They also use shoreline and bathymetry data for
developing sediment budgets, calibrating numerical models, and
developing coastal structure design criteria (engineering projects).
these data are used for determining setback criteria for coastal
construction (FEMA projects).
surveys provide data to quantify channel shoaling rates and supply
bathymetric data for developing regional circulation and sediment
transport numerical modeling grids. Dr. Byrnes also has applied these
techniques in wetland environments for evaluating the causes of wetland
change and the impact pipelines have on wetland loss, including scour
associated with pipeline landfall from offshore sites. Dr. Byrnes has
applied these procedures for developing coastal change data sets in
support of litigation, for which he has served as an expert witness.
Channel and Shoal
Dynamics at Inlets
Since 1992, Dr. Byrnes has compiled and analyzed
site-specific and regional bathymetric surveys to document the evolution
of channels and shoals at entrances relative to navigation safety and
environmental concerns. Many studies were funded under the USACE Inlets
Research Program and specific USACE District projects to address shoal
migration and sedimentation processes in navigation channels and
environmental considerations associated with maintenance dredging
sedimentation patterns and rates of change were determined by comparing
sequential bathymetric and shoreline surveys, detailed procedures have
been developed for compiling and analyzing data sets and associated
potential measurement uncertainties.
Net sediment volume changes were quantified to develop inlet
sediment budgets for predicting long-term system response to engineering
Over the past 22 years, Dr. Byrnes has conducted offshore sand resource
evaluations for determining the sedimentary characteristics of deposits
and associated potential environmental issues concerning sand mining on
the Continental Shelf. The
geographic extent of these studies ranges from coastal Louisiana to
offshore Massachusetts. Dr.
Byrnes primary interest is with the geological development of offshore
shoals and the physical environmental effects of dredging activities in
altering fluid and sediment transport patterns at potential borrow sites
and along shorelines landward of resource areas.
Analyses rely on comparison of NOAA historical bathymetry and
shoreline data sets and numerical modeling of waves and currents over
Analysis results supply information for policy decisions regarding
potential dredging effects and for development of impact reports
required under the National Environmental Policy Act in support of
potential lease agreements.
Impact of Coastal
Structures on Shoreline Change
Since 1984, Dr. Byrnes has evaluated the impact of coastal structures on
sediment transport dynamics and coastal evolution throughout the U.S.
He has been principal investigator on several studies assessing
the influence of navigation and shore protection structures on beach
response, including an evaluation of beach change to construction of 85
segmented breakwaters offshore southwestern Louisiana and an assessment
of downdrift beach evolution in response to jetty construction at St.
Marys Entrance, GA/FL; Grays Harbor and Columbia River, WA; Port
Canaveral and Sebastian Inlet, FL; and Mattituck and Goldsmith Inlets,
Southold, NY. More recently,
Dr. Byrnes has evaluated the impact of channel dredging on sand
bypassing and littoral sediment transport processes for coastal Alabama
and Mississippi, and for beaches on Long Island, NY. All projects relied
on the application of GIS/mapping tools for accurate compilation and
analysis of survey data sets.
In a number of regional projects, Dr. Byrnes has conducted studies on
the geologic evolution of coastal environments.
These deposits represent the framework upon which modern coastal
change is occurring. As such, he
has devoted substantial time understanding the geological factors
contributing to the evolution of nearshore, barrier beach, and estuarine
deposits. Sediment dynamics at
the land-sea boundary exert substantial influence on the placement of
structures relative to erosion trends.
Dr. Byrnes has conducted most of these studies with the U.S.
Geological Survey and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Coastal Education and Research
American Geophysical Union (AGU)
Society for Sedimentary Geology
Geological Society of America
Sigma Xi - The Scientific
Phi Kappa Phi
Editorial Board, Geo-Marine
Editorial Board, Marine Models
Associate Editor, Gulf of Mexico
Gulf Coast Section SEPM Editor
for Gulf Coast Association Geological Societies Conference, 1995
Technical Study Advisor for
Coastal Wetland Planning, Protection, and Restoration Act (CWPPRA):
Louisiana Barrier Shoreline Study, Louisiana Department of Natural
Resources, October 1994 to March 1995
Public Policy Committee,
Southeast GSA, 1991-1994
Workshop on the Future Needs of
Users for Nautical Information, Working Group 3: Database
Issues/Nautical Charts and Marine GIS, National Research Council, 1993