Remote Video Measurement of Mesoscale Nearshore Processes


Daniel M. Hanes

Funding Source

U.S. Office of Naval Research, Coastal Dynamics Program


Our primary objective is to utilize a remotely controlled video system to visually document the nearshore region during the experiment. The images may be utilized to study the spatial structure of mesoscale processes such as suspended sediment plumes, bathymetric features such as bars and beach cusps, shoreline position, water mass interfaces, breaking wave location, and surface manifestations of wake effects. For example, the coastal region at Duck often exhibits a sharp interface between nearshore and offshore water masses resulting in a front-like turbidity gradient on the sea surface. The video image will be used to map the cross-shore location of this front.

A secondary objective is to provide image documentation of the wave and sea surface conditions above our in-situ, under water instrumentation. These images will provide qualitative information regarding the presence of breaking waves, bubbles/foam on the sea surface, and the passage of turbidity fronts.

A tertiary objective is to provide visual image documentation to other investigators. Images can provide qualitative descriptions of events of general interest. For example, an overhead view of the movement of vehicles or sleds and surface manifestations their associated wakes may aid in interpreting data obtained from point measurements.


A computer controlled video recording system will be mounted on the FRF observation tower approximately 120 feet above sea level. The camera will be mounted on a weather protective pan and tilt mechanism. The locations and sampling interval for several scenes are controlled by a personal computer ( near the camera), which will communicate to the world via either a network or telephone line. Images of approximately 10 scenes will be obtained at approximately hourly intervals. The data will be stored on video tape and also in digitized format.

The images will be made available to other participants, and the selection of scenes and sampling intervals will be adjusted to meet the needs of any interested parties.

For a list of addresses of the investigators involved in Duck 94 click here.