Torrey Pines Beach Raw Sand Elevations
datasetposted on 21.12.2019 by Bonnie C. Ludka, Robert T. Guza, William C. O'Reilly, Mark A. Merrifield, Reinhold E. Flick, Spicer Bak, Tyler J. Hesser, Randy L. Bucciarelli, Corey Olfe, Brian Woodward, William Boyd, Kent Smith, Michele Okihiro, Rob Grenzeback, Lucian Perry, Greg Boyd
Datasets usually provide raw data for analysis. This raw data often comes in spreadsheet form, but can be any collection of data, on which analysis can be performed.
Raw (quality controlled) sand elevations at Torrey Pines Beach. An ATV with rear shocks removed and constant tire pressure (to maintain a consistent distance from the GNSS antenna to the sand level below), was used to measure the subaerial beach at low tide, while a 3 wheeled push dolly (with GNSS antenna mounted on a fixed-height mast) was used from the low-tide waterline to chest deep wading depths. A personal watercraft (Yamaha Waverunner, but here the more familiar term jet ski will be used) equipped with 192kHz acoustic sonar, sea surface thermistor (for speed of sound calculation) and GNSS antenna, measures the subaqueous profile at high tide. The dolly is used to help ensure data is collected along a continuous profile, through water that is too deep for ATV, and where there is too much turbidity for the jet ski sonar. The receivers on the vehicles transitioned from Sokkia, to Ashtech ZXtreme, and are now equipped with Trimble NetR9 GNSS receivers (enabling access to multiple Global Navigation Satellite Systems). The GNSS sample rates have increased over time, and data are now collected at 5Hz. Base stations broadcast real-time kinematic corrections that allow jet ski and ATV drivers to monitor the data quality, follow designated transect lines, and guide dolly pushers, using custom in-house software. Vehicles are driven at a speed that samples ~1 point per meter of track. Data are routinely post-processed. SBG Ellipse inertial measurement units on the jet ski and ATV account for tilting of the antenna. Prior to the advent of MEMS, a KVH Gyrocompass was used. The ATV driver also manually records subaerial substrate type with a switch that differentiates between rock, cobble and sand. The location, spacing, and orientation of full survey transects evolved organically over time and space. At Torrey Pines, surveying began before the creation of the MOP model, and cross-shore transects were orthogonal to the approximate orientation of the MHHW contour over a few km alongshore. Subaerial ATV-only surveys are driven alongshore with approximately 10m cross-shore spacing. Nominally, full surveys are quarterly and subaerial surveys are monthly. Quality controlled elevation data (NAVD88 GEOID99 epoch 2002) are provided for each survey at both Lat-Lon (NAD83 CORS96, epoch 2002, ellipsoid GRS80) and UTM (Zone 11) coordinates. When available, subaerial substrate type (sand, rock or cobble) is also provided. Errors in survey elevation are variable in space and time, and depend on GNSS-platform, bed smoothness, and wave and ocean temperature stratification conditions. Root-mean-square-errors are usually less than 15cm with the jet ski, and a few cm smaller with the dolly and ATV. Be cautious with data at depths greater than 8m below MSL, as ocean temperature stratification can contaminate jet ski soundings. Gaps in spatial coverage occurred when low and high tide surveys did not overlap, owing to the nonlinear interaction of sand bars, waves, tides, kelp, permits, and mechanical failures. Pre- and post- survey control points were used for accuracy verification on each survey. The Online Positioning User Service (OPUS) was used to determine base locations and survey control locations. Inertial measurement units were calibrated on the vehicles and tested. Realtime ocean surface water temperature was recorded during the jet ski surveys to correct for the sonar travel time measurements. Jet ski, dolly, and ATV data are collected over the same transect line with overlap for redundancy and as a check on data quality. Vertical discrepancies are flagged and outliers are removed. The sonar and IMU are oversampled to improve noise rejection. ATV tire pressure is held at 5 PSI and verified prior to each survey. Various jet ski parameters were set at thresholds that maintained high quality (e.g. 30 degree max pitch/roll, maximum Position of Dilution of Precision of 5.0). Raw (quality controlled) sand level data provide maximum user flexibility. Binned and mapped data are more user-convenient for many applications, but sharp edges are blurred. Raw data should be used to examine vertical scarps at the seaward face of nourishments, and steep reef and canyon bathymetry. Be cautious with data at depths greater than 8m below MSL, as ocean temperature stratification can contaminate jet ski soundings. Complete lists of all survey filenames, dates, depth zones surveyed, alongshore regions surveyed, south and north-most surveyed MOP line indices with good coverage, regions influenced by nourishment, and vehicles and transects driven are included in the torrey_survey_info.nc file (separate download).