DMC to host a talk on Coastal Flooding

On Friday, August 4, Dr. Jon Woodruff will give a talk titled “Coastal Flooding: Geological Insight on Causes, Consequences, and Solutions.”

The seminar will take place in Brooke Hall at the University of Maine’s Darling Marine Center beginning at 10:30 a.m. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is requested at

Floods are among the costliest of natural disasters both in the United States and globally. This is true in terms of lives lost and economic costs. By their very nature extreme flood events are infrequent. Consequently, even historical datasets are rarely long enough to capture the full range of flood conditions possible at a particular location.

Back barrier beach lagoons are a common feature along the Maine coast. Sediment deposits in these lagoons contain evidence of past floods and provide one of the most successful means to-date for extending flood records beyond the relatively short observational data sets.

In his talk, Woodruff will provide examples of the utility of back barrier and backwater sediments in improving flood hazard risk assessments. Woodruff will discuss past changes in hurricane-induced flood behaviors to New York City in the context of Hurricane Sandy and evidence of past mega-tsunamis in Japan derived from the Nankai Trough.  The talk will conclude with a discussion of the abundance of coastal lagoons along Maine’s coast and their potential for protecting our shoreline.

Woodruff is a faculty member at the University of Massachusetts. He is a sedimentologist with a focus on coastal, estuarine, and fluvial processes. Woodruff studies the mechanisms of sediment transport during extreme flooding, as well as how these high-magnitude, low-frequency events are recorded within the geologic record. He is visiting the DMC this summer to study sediment transport in estuarine environments with colleagues at UMaine.

This talk is part of DMC’s summer science seminar series, where renowned scientists in the field of marine biology engage the public in topics ranging from the studies of the Gulf of Maine to the exploration of the deep sea. The full list of speakers is posted at For a disability accommodation, please call 207.563.3146.

Contact: Aliya Uteuova,