Measuring Beach Profiles along a Low-Wave Energy Microtidal Coast, West-Central Florida, USA

Jun Cheng, University of South Florida
Ping Wang, University of South Florida
Qiandong Guo, University of South Florida


Monitoring storm-induced dramatic beach morphology changes and long-term beach evolution provides crucial data for coastal management. Beach-profile measurement using total station has been conducted along the coast of west-central Florida over the last decade. This paper reviews several case studies of beach morphology changes based on total-station survey along this coast. The advantage of flexible and low-cost total-station surveys is discussed in comparison to LIDAR (light detection and ranging) method. In an attempt to introduce total-station survey from a practical prospective, measurement of cross-shore beach profile in various scenarios are discussed, including: (1) establishing a beach profile line with known instrument and benchmark locations; (2) surveying multiple beach profiles with one instrument setup; (3) implementation of coordinate rotation to convert local system to real-earth system. Total-station survey is a highly effective and accurate method in documenting beach profile changes along low-energy coasts.