Research conducted at the FRF on weather, waves, currents, tides and changes in nearshore morphology has had global impact. Long-term bathymetry surveys have defined how beach and nearshore sand bars respond to seasonal and storm changes. Highly resolved wave information has provided new knowledge of the major forces that affect our coasts. Sediment transport data gathered during storms has revealed the strengths and weaknesses of our beach erosion prediction capabilities. The long-term measurements have made the property one of the best studied beaches in the world and have informed countless discoveries, journal papers, reports, theses, and PhD dissertations. 

The Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory’s Field Research Facility (FRF) is located on the Atlantic Ocean near the town of Duck, North Carolina. Since its formation, the cornerstone of the FRF’s contribution to coastal research has been its long-term data measurements that stretch back to 1977. Few locations on the globe provide a better archive of wave, water, bathymetry and other forces that shape nearshore conditions. The records have evolved through time alongside the development of new tools, technologies, and approaches. Much of the current research at the FRF has not only served to further advance these capabilities, but has supported the conversion of these technologies into transferrable tools to support research or coastal project design, construction, and operation in other locations.