Each summer when David Muerdter comes to the Oregon Coast, he notices that the beach in front of where he stays has changed from the previous summer. Sometimes it is a little wider, sometimes narrower. The dunes down the beach may be taller, the waves are breaking further out or closer in, the dune grass may be spreading seaward. These summer beaches are much different than during a winter visit several years ago when he found the beach much narrower, an example of the seasonal changes that can occur on beaches. In this talk David will discuss how and why beaches change and why waves are the main agent of those changes. Waves interact with beach sand and modify beaches daily, monthly, and over much longer periods of time. Additionally, he will discuss where the sand in this dynamic beach setting comes from and where it goes.
About the Speaker, David Muerdter, Geologist
David Muerdter grew up in San Diego near the beach and has never lived more than 50 miles away from salt water. Curiosity about the ocean and rocks led him to get a BS in Geology from Oregon State University and a PhD in Geological Oceanography from University of Rhode Island. During his studies he sailed on many oceanographic cruises to collect deep sea sediments. He served in the Peace Corps in Malaysia where he was a high school physics teacher and a geologist for the Geological Survey of Malaysia. He finally settled into a career as a geophysicist specializing in how sound moves through rocks, and he taught classes in this specialty around the world. Since retiring, he enjoys volunteering at the Seattle Aquarium and at the Cape Perpetua Visitors Center while visiting the central Oregon Coast in the summer. David always delights in exploring the world with his wife, Nancy, and captures as much of it as he can with his camera.