Studying Intertidal Beach Changes

Melbourne Beach, Florida
Joseph F. van Gaalen
Doctoral Candidate Department of Geology University of South Florida

Study accretion and erosion features through tidal cycles
Beaches are dynamic systems that are constantly reworked and rearranged through accretion and erosion.

Task:

Views of the same beach 15 hours apart

Goal:

Map accretion/erosion features on the beach in as high resolution as possible, quickly and accurately

Goal:

Map accretion/erosion features on the beach in as high resolution as possible, quickly and accurately
1) Since beaches are constantly changing, the faster a survey can be conducted, the sooner a repeat survey can be conducted to exact the change occurring over that interval

2) A 500-meter stretch of beach in Melbourne, FL was selected to map and evaluate changes 3) Final product resulting in elevation maps of the beach through successive tidal stages that can be compared for relative accretion and erosion

Goal:

Map accretion/erosion features on the beach in as high resolution as possible as quickly as possible 3D Laser Scanning
Solution:

Beaches along the Atlantic coast of Florida are highly energetic making Melbourne Beach, Florida an ideal location for study

Method:
Eleven scans conducted across 500m of beach at successive low tide stands to maximize exposed beach for laser reflection

Method:
Eleven scans conducted across 500m of beach at successive low tide stands to maximize exposed beach for laser reflection

Method:
Evaluate successive beach scans in the same coordinate grid to obtain maps highlighting elevation change in the environment A

B

C
A) Surface elevation map, in meters, on Day 1 B) Elevation map on Day 2

C) Change from Day 1 to Day 2: red shades denoting accretion, blue shades denoting erosion

Final Product: Elevation maps of the beach through successive tidal stages that can be compared for relative accretion and erosion
A A

B B C C

Data is being incorporated into the PhD dissertation of Joseph F. van Gaalen at the USF Geology Department