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Beach Morphology Monitoring Program

In order to capture the alongshore component of beach change, three-dimensional surface maps are being generated by mapping the beach surface with a GPS antenna mounted to a six-wheel drive amphibious all-terrain vehicle called the CLAMMER (CoastaL All-terrain Morphology Monitoring and Erosion Research vehicle). Mapping occurs at 16 sites throughout the littoral cell, totaling more than 60 km (37 miles) of alongshore distance.  Individual sites are each approximately 4 km in length and hundreds of meters in width, spanning the area between the toe of the primary dune and the swash zone. In general, the surveys are conducted biannually, however, survey frequency is increased in areas that are highly dynamic (e.g., Ocean Shores) in an attempt to determine shorter-scale temporal changes.

The CLAMMER collects individual point measurements (every 5 - 10 m, 16 - 32 ft) that are gridded to create a three-dimensional surface.  From the gridded surface, contour elevations can be extracted to evaluate the change in contour position over time.  A comparison of the gridded surfaces can also reveal how much sediment has accumulated or eroded within a surface mapping site.  Follow this link to review a detailed summary of surface mapping with CLAMMER.

Follow these links for more information on how the monitoring program employs GPS equipment or to view a map of the monitoring program sampling locations. Or, select a topic from the list at the top of this page for a description of survey techniques.

Ecology - SEA Program | USGS - Coastal & Marine Geology

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Maintained by CMAP, Washington Department of Ecology
Address questions and comments to George Kaminsky
Modified 22 Mar 2012