Beach surveys to monitor change along northern Monterey Bay

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From October 9–15, USGS personnel surveyed beaches and the adjacent ocean floor along Monterey Bay’s northern coast.

USGS personnel mapped beach elevations with precision GPS units on backpacks and all-terrain vehicles, and they recorded nearshore depths with personal watercraft equipped with GPS and echo sounders. Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center (PCMSC) scientists have conducted surveys between Santa Cruz and Moss Landing every fall and spring since October 2014 to study the patterns and causes of coastal change. They add targeted mapping to capture the effects of large storms. PCMSC runs regular surveys on various California shores, including recently begun mapping along southern Monterey Bay.

A man walks across low sand dunes wearing a backpack and carrying a hand-held computer, near water, smoke stacks in distance.

Dan Nowacki measures dune elevations near the mouth of the Pajaro River with a precision GPS unit carried in his backpack.

(Credit: Andrew Stevens, USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center. Public domain.)

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