Nicholas C. Kraus, Robert L. Wiegel, Willard N. Bascom


The Wave Project at the University of California at Berkeley was established in 1944 to develop a relationship between nearshore waves and the underlying topography for supporting amphibious military landings. The project was continued for scientific purposes until 1952 under the more general name of "Wave Observation and Beach Surveys," including the Amphibious Oceanography Project. These early field observations are a central part of the genesis of coastal engineering in the United States. Beach profiles were surveyed by stadia and by amphibious vehicle along the coasts of Washington, Oregon, and California, and the results were documented in University of California, Fluid Mechanics Laboratory, reports in the HE-116 series. The profile survey measurements, now 50 years old, are still the only such data available for many beaches along the U.S. Pacific Coast. The data set thus comprises a valuable baseline for documenting change in the coast, and it is a resource on the morphology and grain size for high-energy beaches that are extremely difficult to survey. The profile survey plots in the limited-circulation reports have been digitized and are available for general access in the present study. This paper reviews the early measurement program and the available data set.


beach profile; profile survey; Pacific

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