Beware: measuring beach erosion with 2-D profiles can yield spurious results


Why is Ethan so happy?  Well, he just published a new paper in Earth Surface Processes and Landforms entitled, “Evaluating proxies for estimating subaerial beach volume change across increasing time scales and various morphologies“.  In the paper, Ethan critically evaluates proxies, such as changes in beach profiles and shoreline positions, which are commonly used in management and research for estimating changes in subaerial beach volume.  He used terrestrial laser scanning data to create multiple high-resolution topography maps of beaches with variable morphology over a period of 3.5 years.  Those maps were then used to compare the various volume-change proxies.  This work is important because management decisions and research results may be adversely influenced by inaccurate depictions of beach volume change that were based on a proxy that is not well suited to that particular beach morphology or time frame of interest.  Check out his paper online and don’t forget to look at supplemental information where all of the maps are displayed.ESPL

About Antonio Rodriguez

Institute of Marine Sciences
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