SYSTEMATIC COLLECTION OF BEACH DATA

Dennis W. Berg

Abstract


Theoretical considerations of "beach "behavior are often hampered "by a lack of systematically obtained data sets which reflect the beach environment. For specific studies, lack of time and money often prevent the collection of such data sets. Thus, any opportunity for the collection of such data, on a routine basis, should be fully exploited l In 19679 the U S Army Corps of Engineers and the State of California initiated a cooperative program to collect empirical data at selected locations along the California coast. The objective was to establish a reservoir of repetitive, systematic observations, by qualified personnel, with the hope of securing a better understanding of the physical characteristics of the California shore and the littoral processes occurring there. Once a sufficient volume of data has been collected, analysis of the data will begin with the aim of determining meaningful correlations between the various recorded parameters. The number of distinct observations and sites dictated standardized observational procedures and recording methods amenable to automatic processing Observational methods and a recording form were designed to provide a base of comparison and an efficient means of processing the expected large volume of data Investigation of various methods of recording data led to the design of a suitable optical scanning form. This form, completed m the field by individual observers, can automatically be converted to punched cards for further processing Experience m collecting similar data in connection with other studies of the Coastal Engineering Research Center influenced the selection of comparatively inexpensive instruments for data collection. Approximately 50 observation sites, extending from the Oregon-California boundary to the United States-Mexican border are presently contributing data. These sites represent a wide variety of shore types, beach sediments, geographic orientations, and morphology It is anticipated that future expansion of this program will include sites other than those directly controlled by State agencies and will allow a more detailed description of the California shore Although not presently programmed, the extension of this study to other coastal areas of the United States where little or no information is presently available would be desirable, and could provide the necessary background for more comprehensive description of the overall behavior of the littoral zone.

Keywords


beach data; collection of data

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