ACCURACY OF HYDROGRAPHIC SURVEYING IN AND NEAR THE SURF ZONE

Thorndike Saville, Jr., Joseph M. Caldwell

Abstract


The analysis and solution of most beach erosion problems are based to a significant degree on the quantitative changes in the bottom hydrography as observed in successive surveys. Critical decisions as to the dominant direction of littoral drift, the average rate of this drift, and the onshore-offshore movement of material are based largely on such hydrographic surveys. As the net changes between successive surveys are usually small compared to the area being studied, the degree of accuracy or comparability of the hydrographic surveys is of considerable importance. For instance, a net change of 100,000 cubic yards over one square mile of beach represents an average change in depth of only about 0.1 feet. Thus, it can be seen that uncompensated errors in depth measurement of as little as 0.1 feet can produce indications of significant littoral sand movement which might not exist in reality.

Keywords


hydrographic survey error; Mission Beach, California; surf zone surveys

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