Survey Platforms




Measurements of coastal cliffs and evolving beach sand levels between the back beach and ~10 m water depth are obtained with GPS, LiDAR, and photogrammetry equipped survey platforms including a jetski, hand-pushed dolly, an all terrain vehicle,  4-wheel drive truck, and drones.

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Observations collected over 18 years at Torrey Pines State Beach show spatial patterns of seasonal changes in sand level.  Vertical change of almost 1 m (red) reduce the winter beach width.  Over this 3 km alongshore reach, on average ~ 160,000 cubic meters of sand is exchanged seasonally between the eroded beach face (red) and an offshore sand bar (blue).

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Survey Jetski

Operates close to shore where agility in waves is required.  Surveys bathymetry between ~1 - 10 m water depth using a sonic depth finder and can sample (while underway) conductivity, temperature, dye concentration, and turbidity.


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Survey Dolly

Operates in the surfzone, too deep for the all-terrain-vehicle and too shallow for the jetski.


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      Survey All Terrain Vehicle (ATV)

        Surveys beach elevation above the waterline and can be equipped for cobble mapping.


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        Survey Truck

        Carries a scanning LiDAR that surveys beaches and cliffs with high accuracy and resolution.


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          Drones

          Provide a platform for cameras, video cameras, and a scanning Lidar to obtain high-resolution sub-aerial (exposed beach) sand level and cliff surveys. Surveys are conducted by a fixed wing airplane pilot or FAA Part 107 drone pilot.