Research Projects 2018-2020

A next generation beach observing system for Hawaiʻi

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Chip Fletcher
Co-INVESTIGATORS: Mark Merrifield, Douglas Luther
Graduate Trainee: Kammie Tavares

Linear sets of depth values running off the beach show profile measurements.
Aerial (drone) photo of Waikiki Beach, Hawaiʻi illustrating how beach profiles are performed to monitor shoreline changes.

The proposed project will develop and institute a next-generation program for monitoring short and long-term changes in shoreline location and beach width on Hawaiʻi coasts and will increase the accuracy and coverage of existing beach monitoring databases.  This pilot project, looking at several key beach sites on Oʻahu, will determine if the efficiency and data quality for beach surveys can be enhanced through recent technologies including advanced GPS-enable survey instruments, digital imagery from unmanned aerial vehicles (drones), and seafloor surveys using a Personal Water Craft (Jet Ski).