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Quantification of sand bar morphology : a video technique based on wave dissipation Public Deposited

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  • A technique is presented to remotely measure the scales and morphology of natural sandbars based on the preferential dissipation of wind waves and swell over the crests of the bar. Photographic or video images are recorded and statistical uncertainties associated with incident wave height modulations removed by averaging (time exposures). Ground truth testing of the technique was carried out as part of the SUPERDUCK experiment in October 1986. The time exposures generally provided a good mapping of underlying morphology, allowing detection of the bar and determination of cross-shore and longshore length scales. However, during high waves, persistent surface foam obscures the relationship of image intensity to local dissipation (modeled theoretically by dissipation of a random wave field), and an enhancement technique of image differencing must be done to remove the bias. Errors in the estimate of bar crest distance from the shoreline are generally less than 35%, but this value depends on the geometry of the particular bar. Logistic simplicity and quantitative capabilities make this technique very attractive.
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  • Holman, R. A., and Lippmann, T. C. (1989), Quantification of sand bar morphology: a video technique based on wave dissipation. J. Geophys. Res., 94, C1.
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