Beach mapping










Oregon Beach and Shoreline Mapping and Analysis Program: Pacific Northwest Estuaries and Shores  




Beach Profiles


Cross-shore beach profiles are surveyed with a Global Positioning System (GPS) mounted on a backpack and undertaken during low tides.  Surveys of the 25 beach profile sites are carried out approximately bimonthly and/or after major storms.  The approach used is to walk from the landward edge of the primary dune, over the dune crest, and down the beach face to wading depth. This method can reliably detect elevation changes greater than 4-5 cm well below normal seasonal changes in beach elevation, which typically varies by 1 - 2 m (3 - 6ft). An ARGO all terrain amphibious vehicle is used to access profiles along the shore and for undertaking larger scale beach surface mapping.  The GPS surveyed profiles have subsequently been compared with information generated from light detection and ranging (lidar) topographic data collected in October 1997, April 1998, and September 2002 by the U.S. Geological Survey and NASA.  This latter information extends our understanding of the response of the beaches back to 1997.


To access information about the beach study sites please select an area of interest (green box) from the maps below.


Oregon Shore and Beach Observing Stations:

North Coast

South Coast
(yellow areas forthcoming)