Pink Waves Crash on a San Diego Beach in Name of Science

January 30, 2023

I’m excited because this research hasn’t been done before and it’s a really unique experiment.

Associate Professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography Sarah Giddings. She is leading a study in which researchers in San Diego are using pink dye to study the coastal zone where a river meets the ocean. 📷 Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego

The Study: Researchers from the University of California San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the University of Washington released 15 gallons of nontoxic pink dye where the mouth of a river meets the tide at a San Diego beach. They are studying how small freshwater outflows – in this case a river – interact with the surfzone. The pink dye is visible for several hours after deployment and has been putting on a show for beachgoers in San Diego.

Why It Matters: This will lead to an improved understanding of how small-to-moderate outflows of freshwater interact with waves all over the world. The study overview explains that the results “will provide crucial data for quantifying the spread of sediment, pollutants, larvae, and other important material in the nearshore environment.”

📷 Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego

Here’s why the waves in San Diego are pink, and what we can learn from it (USA Today)

For more about the study, click here.

by Jenna Lee,