HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Duke Geologist Decries Using Engineering Models To Predict Natural Phenomena

ANAHEIM, CALIF. -- Using mathematical models to predict natural processes -- such as how well a sandy beach can weather randomly occurring storm buffeting -- is a commonplace but wrongheaded engineering practice that can cause real harm, according to a Duke University geologist who studies such coastal dynamics.

"Engineering models of Earth surface phenomena do not work, and I think it is very important that society recognizes this," said Orrin Pilkey, a professor of Earth and ocean science at Duke's Nicholas School of the Environment. "I think mathematical modeling in this sense is damaging our society."

Pilkey spoke in an interview before his talk on the same subject Monday at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

He is the outspoken director of Duke's Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines and the co-author of The Corps and the Shore (1996, Island Press), a book that criticizes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' use of predictive mathematical models such as "GENESIS" and "SBEACH"to model beaches.

Such models use mathematical equations to represent such factors as wave characteristics, the density and porosity of beach sand, the density of sea water and the beach's slope. The intended purpose is to predict how natural or artificial beaches will respond to various kinds of coastal engineering.

Some engineering models -- such as those assessing the performance of construction materials in a bridge or building -- are useful, Pilkey acknowledged. "Modeling steel and concrete is fine," he said. "But now engineers have stepped into natural systems and they want to model beaches. Well, they can't do that.

"In general, they can't model any natural systems with precision. But because beaches are so dynamic and because they can change so suddenly, it is very obvious and easy to see why modeling fails for them."

Pilkey focused
'"/>

Contact: Monte Basgall
Monte.basgall@duke.edu
919-681-8057
Duke University
25-Jan-1999


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Geologists discover water cuts through rock at surprising speed
2. Geologists show how wetlands can clean up acid mine drainage
3. Geologists find spines make comfy home for some marine organisms
4. Geologists develop new database using GIS for study of evolution of continents
5. Geologists explore beach nourishment controversies, groundwater quality, and Blue Ridge mountain issues
6. Geologists at UNC-CH discover states most spectacular fossils
7. From Germany To The Wild West: Geologists Hunt For Evidence Of Ancient Crinoid
8. University Of Cincinnati Geologists Analyzes Evolutionary Impact Of Mass Extinctions
9. Geologist Finds Evidence Supporting Mysterious Ancient Sea
10. Geologist Finds Hidden Patterns Of Diversification In Ordovician Radiation
11. UC Geologist "Flip-Flops" On Understanding Of Crinoid Life Style

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:9/3/2020)... ... September 03, 2020 , ... ... announced that an extensive third-party assessment of the company’s security practices has been ... against federal security regulations. The comprehensive evaluation reviewed Litmus’ processes and systems, assessing ...
(Date:8/23/2020)... , ... August 21, 2020 , ... ... Corporation has been published and is now available on the company’s global ... diffraction—serves the X-ray analysis community, presenting current news and crystallographic research. , ...
(Date:8/12/2020)... , ... August 11, 2020 , ... ... based in Princeton, NJ, have entered into license agreements with Housey Pharma’s HMI ... Both Roche and J&J have annual Research and Development spending in excess ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:9/1/2020)... RIDING, Va. (PRWEB) , ... September 01, 2020 ... ... firm for life sciences, biotechnology, and diagnostics companies, has announced the placement of ... . Averill will be responsible for leading all financial operations and implementing key ...
(Date:8/15/2020)... ... August 13, 2020 , ... ... 5000 list, the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. The ... economy’s most dynamic segment—its independent small businesses. Intuit, Zappos, Under Armour, Microsoft, Patagonia, ...
(Date:8/12/2020)... (PRWEB) , ... August 12, 2020 , ... ... Inc. (EMMA International), a global leader in FDA compliance consulting has been ... nation’s fastest-growing private companies. The list represents a unique look at the most ...
(Date:8/3/2020)... ... 03, 2020 , ... Introducing Ardent Animal Health – MediVet Biologics rebrands company ... Known as MediVet Biologics since its formation in 2016, the company is relaunching ... Health will build on its base of innovative therapies for osteoarthritis and cancer. ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: