Generally, I am interested in how materials from land are dispersed and accumulate in the ocean, and how marine processes affect the coast and its resources. I use sediment characteristics, environmental measurements (including oceanographic, meteorological, and hydrologic data), and geophysical methods like seismic-reflection tools to understand the modern and ancient processes influencing the seabed and sedimentary record of the coast. This research is important to examining the fate of pollutants and runoff, assessing carbon sinks for climate studies, quantifying natural resources like sand for beach nourishment, evaluating biological habitats, identifying and extracting petroleum, and protecting our nation’s coastlines.
More specifically, the following are three general areas of research focus:
1) Sediment movement and accumulation in the ocean. A portion of my research focuses on understanding sedimentation along the continental margin, the portion of the ocean near land . These studies involve making ocean and seafloor measurements and collecting seafloor cores. Lab and computer analysis help to determine sedimentation behavior. I have taken part in many offshore research cruises to support my investigations; here's an example expedition: http://www.coastal.geology.ecu.edu/nz/.
2) River and estuarine processes. Materials from land are transport by rivers into estuaries. Because these are critical ecological zones, it is important to be knowledgeable on how they function and be aware how humans may impact coastal biological, chemcial, physical and geological processes. My research involves exploring and sampling coastal water bodies by small boat and uses a variety of research tools to measure different phenomena.
3) Shoreline and barrier island change. Storms and sea-level changes are two key processes that can alter the coast. Our studies in North Carolina and around the world use remote-sensing methods (e.g., aerial photo analysis) and field investigations to help understand changes and potential ramifications.Funding for my research has been provided by many grants from a variety of sources, such as the National Science Foundation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuarine Program (APNEP) and the State of North Carolina.
Walsh, J.P., Corbett, D.R., Kiker, J., Orpin A., Hale, R., and A. Ogston. 2014. Spatial and temporal variability in sediment deposition and seabed character on the WaipaoaRiver margin, New Zealand. Continental Shelf Research, 86: 85-102.
Walsh, J.P., Corbett, D.R., Ogston, A.S., Nittrouer, C., Kuehl, S.A., Allison, M.A., and S.L. Goodbred Jr. 2013. Shelf and slope sedimentation associated with large deltaic systems. Editors: T.S. Bianchi, M.A. Allison, and W. Cai, In: Biogeochemical Dynamics at Major River-Coastal Interfaces: Linkages with Global Change. Cambridge University Press, New York, NY, 704 pgs.
*Eulie, D., Walsh, J.P. and D.R. Corbett. 2013. High-Resolution Measurements of Shoreline Change and Application of Balloon-Aerial Photography, Albemarle-Pamlico Estuarine System, North Carolina, USA. Limnology and Oceanography: Methods, 11, 151-160.
Walsh, J.P. and C.A. Nittrouer. 2009. Towards an Understanding of Fine-grained River-Sediment Dispersal on Continental Margins. Marine Geology, 263: 34-45.
Walsh, J. P., C. R. Alexander, T. Gerber, A R. Orpin, and B. W. Sumners. 2007. Demise of a submarine canyon? Evidence for highstand infilling on the Waipaoa River continental margin, New Zealand, Geophysical Research Letters, 34: L20606, doi:10.1029/2007GL031142.
Walsh, J. P., Corbett, R. , Mallinson, D. , Goni, M. Dail, C. Loewy, K. Marciniak, K. Ryan, C. Smith, A. Stevens, B. Sumners, and T. Tesi. 2006. Mississippi Delta Mudflow Activity and 2005 Gulf
Walsh, J.P., Nittrouer, C.A., Palinkas, C., Ogston, A.S., Sternberg, R.W., and G.J. Brunskill. 2004. Clinoform mechanics in the Gulf of Papua, New Guinea. Continental Shelf Research, 24: 2487-2510.
Walsh, J.P. and
Walsh, J.P. and
Walsh, J.P. and
Atlantic Ocean and Mid-Atlantic Coast
(GEOL2500/2501), East Carolina University/UNC CSI. This
class reviews the history and oceanography of the Atlantic Ocean
and examines the morphology of and processes affecting the
mid-Atlantic region using North Carolina as an example. The focus
extends from the Paleozoic to present and from the Appalachian
Mountains to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. The terrestrial, estuarine and
oceanographic processes causing coastal change and associated
sedimentation and stratigraphy are discussed. The class uses
nearby depositional environments as context for the discussion, and the
co-requisite lab (1 credit) involves related field trips.|
Coastal Geoscience (GEOL 7002), East Carolina University, Class is designed primarily for doctoral students in the Coastal Resource Management Program. Class uses lectures, labs and field trips to teach coastal geological and physical oceanographic processes
Oceanography (GEOL 1550), East Carolina University. An introductory-level class with typical enrollment of ~100.
Land-Sea Interactions (GEOL 6705), East Carolina University. Created and orchestrated this graduate-level class including an overnight field trip. Class was designed to educate students on quantifying sediment and solute dynamics; the Pamlico-Albemarle dispersal system is used as a focus.
Sedimentology (GEOL 4010/4011), East Carolina University. Lecture and lab class. Prepared and presented lectures for upper-level undergraduate class. Also, graded materials and coordinated exams, labs and field trips.
Luke Stevens, ECU, Geological Sciences MS Student, Co-advisor
C.J. Cornette, ECU, Geological Sciences MS Student, Co-advisor
Jessica Strand, ECU, Geological Sciences MS Student, Co-advisor
David Hawkins, ECU, Geological Sciences MS Student, Co-advisor
David Young, ECU, Geological Sciences MS Student, Co-advisor, Spring 2014
Ian Conery, ECU, Geological Sciences MS Student, Co-advisor, Spring 2014
Devon Eulie, ECU, CRM Ph.D, Co-advisor, Spring 2014
Joey Kiker, ECU, Geological Sciences MS Student, Co-advisor, Summer 2012
Dimitri Quafisi, ECU, Geological Sciences MS Student, Co-advisor, Fall 2010
Reanna Camp, ECU, Geological Sciences MS Student, Co-advisor, Fall 2009
David Lagomasino, ECU, Geological Sciences MS Student, Co-advisor, Spring 2009
Lisa Cowart, ECU, Geological Sciences MS Student, Co-advisor, Summer 2009
Sophie Dillard, ECU, Geological Sciences MS Student, Co-advisor, Fall 2008
Kat Marciniak, ECU, Geological Sciences MS Student, Co-advisor, Fall 2007
Katie Ryan, ECU, Geological Sciences MS Student, Advisor, Spring 2007
Ben Sumners, ECU, Geological Sciences MS Student, Advisor, Fall 2007