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Daniel Buscombe

 

Personal photograph uploaded by Daniel Buscombe

Dr Daniel Buscombe - (D Buscombe)

  • Job title: Post-Doctoral Research Fellow,
  • Address: Room 119, Reynolds, Drake Circus,
    Plymouth, Devon, PL4 8AA
  • Postal address: Room 3a, Reynolds, Drake Circus,
    Plymouth, Devon, PL4 8AA
  • Telephone: +441752586143
  • Alternative telephone: +447904461791
  • Email: daniel.buscombe@plymouth.ac.uk


Role

AS OF NOVEMBER 2012 I WILL BE WORKING AS A RESEARCH GEOLOGIST AT THE UNITED STATES GEOLOGICAL SURVEY, GRAND CANYON MONITORING AND RESEARCH CENTER, FLAGSTAFF, ARIZONA, USA. dbuscombe@usgs.gov, +01 928 890 8504


I was a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow on NERC-funded project 'TSSAR-Waves' (Turbulence, Sediment Stratification and Altered Resuspension under Waves), working under Dr Daniel Conley and Dr Alex Nimmo-Smith. Website here

Google Scholar profile here

I am a geomorphologist/sedimentologist with a principal research interest in sediment dynamics, which includes the physical and biochemical makeup of sediment beds in a range of aquatic environments, the role of sediment heterogeneity in the physics of sediment transport, and the morphodynamics (both micro- and macro-scale) that result from sediment transport, sedimentation, stratigraphy and geomorphological forms. I investigate these processes by developing novel field-deployed optical and acoustic imaging systems, and computational algorithms for small-scale sediment hydroacoustics, in-situ particle and bed imaging and flow-field/turbulence measurements. 

To date my acheivements include:
1. Leading, and participating in, a number of research teams investigating complex sediment
dynamics and morphodynamics at scales ranging from cm to km, on beaches, rivers and
continental shelves.
2. Developing an expertise in building, interfacing and using scientific instrumentation, es-
pecially: underwater imaging (mono, stereo, and holographic); optical, fibre-optical and
acoustic backscatter; Doppler- and phase-Doppler velocimetry; underwater sonars; laser-
diffraction; GPS, laser-scanning and other geomatics instruments.
3. Developing methods for remote and automated measurement of particle size and other phys-
ical properties from images of sediment in rivers and seas, based on Fourier and wavelet
spectral techniques.
4. Helping to develop specialist field-deployed camera systems for bed-sediment photography
and microscopy.
5. Developing computational algorithms for the three-dimensional simulation of sediments of a
variety of types.
6. Developing a novel approach to modelling the effect of sediment hetereogeneity on sediment
entrainment processes in fluid flows.
7. Developing algorithms for, and testing the utility/limits of, multifrequency acoustic backscatter to quantify particle concentration and size. This has been done in by comparing the sediment properties derived from acoustic backscatter theory with images of the same particles using submersible in-line holographic imaging systems.

My long-term scientific objectives include: a) investigating the role of sediment heterogeneity on our ability to predict entrainment, transport and deposition of sediments;b) examining the role of grain size-distributions in fluid-sediment feedbacks (e.g. roughness, bedforms, sediment-induced stratification);c) develop a better understanding of compaction and biological processes (e.g. bioturbation, flocculation) in sediment dynamics;d) use concurrent measurements of suspended and bed sediment to better characterise entrainment and suspension thresholds for mixtures of sediments.Toward these ends, I aim to develop acoustic, optical or hybrid imaging systems in order to better characterise the makeup of the sediment beds.


 

Qualifications & background

BSc (Hons) Physical Geography, 1st class, Lancaster University 2003

PhD Coastal Geomorphology/Oceanography, Plymouth University 2008

Research Assistant on the 
Plymouth University, Project 'WHISSP' (Wave Hub Impacts on Seabed and Shoreline Processes), Dec 07 - Apr 08

Research Assistant on the Plymouth University, Project 'BARDEX' (Barrier Dynamics Experiment), Jun 08 - Aug 08

Post-Doctoral Research Assistant at University of California Santa Cruz and United States Geological Survey, Coastal and Marine Geology, working on the 'Santa Cruz Seafloor Observatory' project, Oct 08 - Oct 09

Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at Plymouth University, UK, Oct 2009 - Nov 2012

LANTRA sit-astride ATV qualification, January 2011

Research Geologist,  Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center, United States Geological Survey, Flagstaff, AZ, USA, Nov 2012 - present



 

Professional membership
 
British Society for Geomorphology (BSG)
International Association of Sedimentologists (IAS)
Society for Sedimentary Geology (SEPM)
American Geophysical Union (AGU)
Coastal Zone Network (COZONE)
The Challenger Society for Marine Science
International Association for Mathematical Geology (IAMG)
 


Teaching interests
Coastal geomorphology
Sedimentological techniques and concepts
Sediment transport
Bottom boundary layers and introductory fluid mechanics
Quantitative data analysis
 


Research interests

  • Sedimentary systems: seabed imaging, sediment bed characterisation, bed and suspended transport measurement and modelling
  • Grain-size effects in sediment transport: fluid-sediment and bio-sediment feedbacks
  • Hydrodynamics and sediment transport in wave-dominated environments
  • Stochastic geometry of images of natural objects, random field statistics and relation to quantitative imaging processing
  • Instrumentation development for in situ sediment bed characterisation and measurement of fluid-particle flows
  • Scientific measurements from images and video. Computational methods, especially frequency-domain, computer vision and geometry problems


Research Groups:


Coastal Processes Research Group (CPRG)

 

UoP Research group membership

Centre for Coastal and Ocean Science and Engineering (CCOSE) 
Coastal Processes 

Grants & contracts
2007

  • British Geomorphological Society Postgraduate award (£300) to attend and present at Coastal Sediments 2007, in New Orleans, USA
  • American Geophysical Union Student travel grant ($600) to attend the AGU 2007 Fall Meeting in San Francisco, USA
  • International Association of Sedimentologists Grant (700 euros) to investigate nearshore bedload transport and bedforms with stereo underwater video cameras. http://www.iasnet.org/members/grantreports/daniel_buscombe.pdf

 

2008

  • International Association for Mathematical Geology research grant ($2000) to develop and trial algorithms for quantification of granular properties and coarse-grain sediment transport from images of the sea bed
  • Society for Sedimentary Geology Grant ($500, President's Fund) to investigate nearshore bedload transport and bedforms with stereo underwater video cameras.
  • Challenger Society for Marine Science travel grant (£150) to attend and present at ICCE Hamburg 2008
  • Plymouth Marine Science Education Fund (£250) to attend and present at ICCE Hamburg 2008

 


Publications
Journal papers



Morphodynamics and Sedimentology of Beaches

Buscombe, D., and Masselink, G. (2006) Concepts in Gravel Beach Dynamics. Earth Science Reviews 79, 33-52.

Masselink, G., Buscombe, D., Austin, M.J, O'Hare, T., Russell, P. (2008) Sediment Trend Models Fail to Reproduce Small Scale Sediment Transport Patterns on an Intertidal Beach. Sedimentology 55, 667-687. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3091.2007.00917.x.

Austin, M.J., and Buscombe, D. (2008) Morphological Change and Sediment Dynamics of the Beach Step on a Macrotidal Gravel Beach. Marine Geology 249, 167-183. doi:10.1016/j.margeo.2007.11.008

Masselink, G., and Buscombe, D. (2008) Shifting gravel: A case study of Slapton Sands. Geography Review 22 (1), 27-31.

Williams, J., Masselink, G., Buscombe, D., Turner, I., Matias, A., Ferreira, O., Meltje, N., Bradbury, A., Albers, T., and Pan, S. (2009) BARDEX (Barrier Dynamics Experiment): Taking the Beach into the Laboratory. Journal of Coastal Research SI 56, 158-162.

Williams, J.J., Buscombe, D., Masselink, G., Turner, I., and Swinkels, C. (2012) Barrier Dynamics Experiment (BARDEX): Aims, Design and Procedures. Coastal Engineering 63, 3-12. doi:10.1016/j.coastaleng.2011.12.009.

Buscombe, D., Conley, D.C., and Rubin, D. (in prep.) Sorting on a Sand Beach Alternating Between Intermediate and Reflective States. Intended for Marine Geology



Granular Simulations and Automated Measurements of Grain Size from Images

Buscombe, D. (2008) Estimation of Grain Size Distributions and Associated Parameters from Digital Images of Sediment. Sedimentary Geology 210, 1-10.

Buscombe, D., and Masselink, G. (2009) Grain Size Information from the Statistical Properties of Digital Images of Sediment. Sedimentology 56, 421-438

Warrick, J.A., Rubin, D.M., Ruggiero, P., Harney, J., Draut, A.E., and Buscombe, D. (2009) Cobble Cam: Grain-size Measurements of Sand to Boulder from Digital Photographs and Autocorrelation Analyses. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 34, 1811-1821.

Buscombe, D., Rubin, D.M., and Warrick, J.A. (2010) Universal Approximation of Grain Size from Images of Non-Cohesive Sediment. Journal of Geophysical Research - Earth Surface 115, F02015, doi:10.1029/2009JF001477

Buscombe, D., and Rubin, D.M. (2012) Advances in the Simulation and Automated Measurement of Well-Sorted Granular Material, Part 1: Simulations. Journal of Geophysical Research - Earth Surface 117, F02001. doi:10.1029/2011JF001974.

Buscombe, D., and Rubin, D.M. (2012) Advances in the Simulation and Automated Measurement of Well-Sorted Granular Material, Part 2: Direct Measures of Particle Properties. Journal of Geophysical Research - Earth Surface 117, F02002. doi:10.1029/2011JF001975.

Buscombe, D. (submitted) Transferable Wavelet Method for Grain Size-Distribution from Images of Sediment Surfaces and Thin Sections, and Other Natural Granular Patterns. Submitted to Sedimentology

Emlyn J. Davies, E.J., Graham, G.W., Nimmo-Smith, W.A.M., Buscombe, D., (in prep.), An evaluation of the performance of autonomous digital holographic image processing for characterising suspended particles, Intended for Measurement Science & Technology.



Sediment transport and hydrodynamics

Buscombe, D. and Conley, D.C. (2012) Effective Shear Stress of Graded Sediment. Water Resources Research, 48, W05506, doi:10.1029/2010WR010341

Lacy, J.R., Rubin, D.M. and Buscombe, D. (2012) Currents, Drag and Sediment Transport Induced by a Tsunami. Journal of Geophysical Research - Oceans, 117, C09028, doi:10.1029/2012JC007954

Puleo, J., Blenkinsopp, C., Howe, D., Conley, D., Masselink, G., Russell, P., Buscombe, D., Lanckriet, T., McCall, R. and Poate, T. (submitted) A comprehensive Field Study of Swash-Zone Hydrodynamics and Sediment Transport. Journal of Waterway, Port, Coastal and Ocean Engineering

Buscombe, D., Rubin, D.M., Lacy, J.R., Sherwood, C., Storlazzi, C., Hatcher, G., Chezar, H., and Wyland, R. (submitted) Seabed Dynamics on the Inner Continental Shelf: Insights Obtained from 18 Months of Hourly, High-Resolution Grain Size Measurements. Continental Shelf Research

Buscombe, D., Conley, D.C., and Nimmo-Smith, W.A.M. (in prep.) Acoustic and Holographic Measurements of Suspended Particles and Bubbles in the Surf Zone on a Sand Beach. Intended for Continental Shelf Research

Buscombe, D., and Nimmo-Smith, W.A.M. (in prep.) Field Observations of Gravel Motion under Near-Breaking Waves. Intended for Journal of Geophysical Research - Oceans





International Conference papers

Buscombe, D., Austin, M.J., and Masselink, G. (2007) Field observations of step dynamics on a macrotidal gravel beach. In Kraus, N., and Rosati, J., (Eds) Proceedings of Coastal Sediments 2007 (Volume 1), ASCE, USA (oral)

Buscombe, D., and Masselink, G. (2007) The relationship between sediment properties and sedimentation patterns on a macrotidal gravel beach over a semi-lunar tidal cycle. Eos Transactions American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, Abstract H53L-02 (oral)

Buscombe, D., Masselink, G., and Rubin, D.M. (2008) Granular Properties from Digital Images of Sediment: Implications for Coastal Sediment Transport Modelling. International Conference on Coastal Engineering (ICCE), Hamburg, 2008 (oral)

Ruiz de Alegria, A., Masselink, G., Kingston, K., Williams, J., and Buscombe, D. (2008) Storm Impacts on a Gravel Beach Using the ARGUS video system. International Conference on Coastal Engineering (ICCE), Hamburg, 2008 (oral)

Buscombe, D., Ruiz de Alegria, A., and Masselink, G. (2008). The relative importance of cross- and along-shore sediment transport in planform and profile adjustments of a gravel barrier beach: Slapton, Devon, UK. American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, Dec 2008 (poster)

Austin, M.J., Masselink, G., Turner, I., Buscombe, D., and Williams, J. (2008) Groundwater seepage between a gravel barrier beach and a freshwater lagoon. International Conference on Coastal Engineering (ICCE), Hamburg, 2008 (oral)

Williams, J.J., Masselink, G., Buscombe, D., Turner, I., Matias, A., Ferreira, O., Meltje, N., Bradbury, A., Albers, T., and Pan, S. (2009). BARDEX (Barrier Dynamics Experiment): taking the beach into the laboratory. 10th International Coastal Symposium (ICS), Lisbon, Portugal 2009 (oral)

Buscombe, D. Lacy, J.R., and Rubin, D.M. (2010) Fractional resuspension and sediment flux on a wave-dominated, non-cohesive, inner continental shelf. Ocean Sciences 2010, Portland (poster)

Rubin, D.M., Buscombe, D., Lacy, J.R., Chezar, H., Hatcher, G., and Wyland, R. (2010) Seafloor sediment observatory on a cable and a shoestring. Ocean Sciences 2010, Portland (oral)

Buscombe, D., and Conley, D.C. (2010) Modeling sand resuspension and stratification in turbulent nearshore flows: sensitivity to grain size distribution. Ocean Sciences 2010, Portland (oral)

Lacy, J.R., Buscombe, D., and Rubin, D.M. (2010) Tsunami-enhanced sediment resuspension on the inner shelf in northern Monterey Bay, California. Ocean Sciences 2010, Portland (oral)

Conley, D.C., and Buscombe, D. (2010) Effects of Grain Size Distributions on Fluid-Sediment Feedback. European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2010, Vienna (oral)

Buscombe, D., Rubin, D. M., and Warrick, J. A. (2010) An automated and 'universal' method for measuring mean grain size from a digital image of sediment. 9th Federal Interagency Sedimentation Conference, Las Vegas June 2010 (oral).

Rubin, D.M., Chezar, H., Buscombe, D., Warrick, J.A., Barnard, P.L., Lacy, J.R., Hatcher, G., Wyland, R., Storlazzi, C., Conaway, C.H., Topping, D.J., Melis, T.S., and Grams, P.E. (2010) New technology for in-situ grain-size analysis from digital images of sediment, and resulting insights regarding sediment transport. 9th Federal Interagency Sedimentation Conference, Las Vegas June 2010 (oral).

Buscombe, D., Rubin, D.M., and Lacy, J.R. (2010) Hourly Measurements of Grain-Size from the Inner Continental Shelf Seabed Using a Fully-Automated, Hydraulically-Controlled Underwater Video Microscope. Particles in Europe 2010, Villefranche-Sur-Mer, France. (oral)

Williams, J.J., Masselink, G., Buscombe, D., and 10 others (2010) BARDEX (Barrier Dynamics Experiments): a laboratory study of gravel barrier response to waves and tides. Proceedings of Hydralab III Joint User Meeting, Hannover, p. 4 (oral)

Buscombe, D., and Conley, D.C. (2011) Formula for Motion Threshold per Grain Size for Graded Sediments in Steady Flows. European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2011, Vienna (poster)

Buscombe, D., Rubin, D.M. (2011) How do you tell how big something is without direct measurement? Estimating grain size using an image’s spectrum. American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, Dec 2011 (oral)

Buscombe, D., Conley, D.C., and Rubin, D.M. (2012) Co-variation of intertidal morphology, bedforms and grain size on a macrotidal sand beach: Praa Sands, UK. Ocean Sciences 2012, Salt Lake City (oral)

Conley, D.C., Buscombe, D., and Nimmo-Smith, A. (2012) New understanding of sediment suspension in the nearshore from cross-comparisons of diverse sensors. Ocean Sciences 2012, Salt Lake City (poster)

Puleo, J..A., Conley, D.C., Masselink, G., Russell, P., Turner, I.L., Blenkinsopp, C., Buscombe, D., Lanckriet, T., McCall, R., and Poate, T. (2012) Comprehensive study of swash-zone hydrodynamics and sediment transport. International Conference on Coastal Engineering, Santander, July 2012 (oral)

Buscombe, D., and Conley, D.C. (2012) Schmidt number of sand suspensions under oscillating-grid turbulence. International Conference on Coastal Engineering, Santander, July 2012 (oral)

Conley, D.C., Buscombe, D., and Nimmo-Smith, A. (2012) Use of digital holographic cameras to examine the measurement and understanding of sediment suspension in the nearshore. International Conference on Coastal Engineering, Santander, July 2012 (oral)

Nimmo-Smith, A., Buscombe, D., and Conley, D.C. (2012) Use of digital holographic cameras to examine the measurement and understanding of sediment suspension in the nearshore. Particles in Europe, Barcelona, October 2012 (oral)


Conley, D.C., Puleo, J., Lankcriet, T, Blenkinsopp, C., Buscombe, D., Ganderton, P., Foster, D., and Masselink, G. (2013) Examination of swash processes utilizing measurements of the total sediment load. International Coastal Symposium, Plymouth, April 2013 (oral)
 

Reports & invited lectures

Invited Talks
  1. Slapton Research Seminar, Field Studies Council, Slapton Ley, 4th December 2004. Talk entitled 'A tale of two storms'.
  2. Slapton Research Seminar, Field Studies Council, Slapton Ley, 18th November 2006. Talk entitled 'A view from the beach'
  3. Centre for Coastal Dynamics and Engineering (C-CoDE), University of Plymouth, 6th December 2006.  Talk entitled 'Field observations of morphological change and sediment dynamics from the nearshore of a gravel beach'
  4. Slapton Research Seminar, Field Studies Council, Slapton Ley, 3rd November 2007. Talk entitled 'A year in the life of Slapton Sands - but was it a typical year?' with Tom Deacon (SLFC). Event listing here
  5. Lancaster University Environmental Imaging Network, 20th May 2008. Talk entitled 'Optical sensing of gravel sediment transport and characteristics: recent advances and future challenges'. Summary here: Abstract here
  6. Coastal and Marine Geology, United States Geological Survey, Santa Cruz, 28th January 2009. Talk entitled 'Morphodynamics and sediment dynamics of a macrotidal gravel beach'.
  7. Centre for Coastal Science and Engineering, University of Plymouth, 17th February 2009. Talk entitled 'Turbulence, Sediment Stratification and Altered Resuspension under Waves'.
  8. Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center, Flagstaff, Arizona, 27th February 2012. Talk entitled 'Nearshore Sediment Transport Through the Looking Glass'.
  9. British Geological Survey, Marine Geosciences Division, Edinburgh, 13th July 2012. Talk entitled 'Digital Grain Size'.

Reports

1.Buscombe, D., and Scott, T.M. (2008) Coastal Geomorphology of North Cornwall: St Ives to Trevose Head. Internal report for Wave Hub Impacts on Seabed and Shoreline Processes, University of Plymouth. 170pp.

2. Buscombe, D., Williams, J. J., and Masselink, G. (2008) BARDEX (Barrier Dynamics Experiment): experimental procedure, technical information and data report. technical report for the European Union Hydralab III, 219pp. 

 

Conferences organised
1) The Quaternary Research Association's 4th International Postgraduate Symposium, hosted by the School of Geography at the University of Plymouth 31st August - 2nd September 2005.
2) Young Coastal Scientist and Engineers Conference, 2007 (YCSEC 2007)  hosted by the School of Geography at the University of Plymouth 19-21 April 2007. http://www.geog.plym.ac.uk/YCSEC07/   and
News Item
3)  American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, December 2007: Co-Convener on the following session:
H60: Linking sediment supply, bed-sediment particle size, sediment transport, and bed morphology in fluvial, marine, and aeolian settings
For more details, see:
http://www.agu.org/meetings/fm07/
 


Other academic activities
Reviewer for
Arctic; Continental Shelf Research; Water Resources Research; Journal of Hydraulic Engineering; Journal of Mountain Science; Journal of Sedimentary Research; Marine Geology; Earth Surface Processes and Landforms; Sedimentology; Sedimentary Geology; Geo-Marine Letters; Geophysical Research Letters

Software

  1. Digital Grain Size Toolbox. Software for automated analyses of grain size from images of sediment. Source code currently available in Matlab, Python, C, R, and Bash. Webpage http://walrus.wr.usgs.gov/seds/grainsize/code.html
  2. Benthic Analysis Tool. Software for the semi-automation of species identification and measurement in deep sea ROV images. Source code available in Matlab.
  3. Sand Simulation Toolbox. Software for generating 3D discrete particle models consisting of realistic particles (with a size- and shape-distribution) with user-defined properties. Source code available in Matlab.


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