Video cameras monitor coastal change on Whidbey Island, Washington

Release Date:

Video cameras installed by the USGS Remote Sensing Coastal Change project overlook the coast on Whidbey Island, Washington, about 25 miles north of Seattle. 

Whidbey and nearby islands have some of the highest rates of coastal-bluff retreat in Puget Sound. The video-based remote-sensing tools measure storm water levels, waves, and currents that affect beaches and bluffs. The USGS Coastal Habitats in Puget Sound and Coastal Climate Impacts teams are using the data to examine sediment movement and coastal processes that impact habitats and infrastructure. The research is important to advance the Puget Sound Coastal Storm Modeling System (PS-CoSMoS), which forecasts flooding due to storms and sea-level rise to inform resilience planning. The cameras are similar to systems installed in Puerto Rico and California. Learn more about these remote-sensing techniques. View images from video taken every half hour on Whidbey Island.

Related Content

Filter Total Items: 6
Date published: October 4, 2021
Status: Active

Remote Sensing Coastal Change

We use remote-sensing technologies—such as aerial photography, satellite imagery, structure-from-motion (SfM) photogrammetry, and lidar (laser-based surveying)—to measure coastal change along U.S. shorelines.

Date published: September 30, 2021
Status: Active

Using Video Imagery to Study Coastal Change: Santa Cruz Beaches

Two video cameras atop the Dream Inn hotel in Santa Cruz, California, overlook the coast in northern Monterey Bay. One camera looks eastward over Santa Cruz Main Beach and boardwalk, while the other looks southward over Cowells Beach.

Date published: September 30, 2021
Status: Active

Using Video Imagery to Study Wave Dynamics: Unalakleet

USGS scientists installed two video cameras atop a windmill tower in Unalakleet, Alaska, pointing westward over Norton Sound, to observe and quantify coastal processes such as wave run-up, development of rip channels, bluff erosion, and movement of sandbars and ice floes.

Date published: September 30, 2021
Status: Active

Using Video Imagery to Study Coastal Change: Sunset State Beach

Two video cameras overlook the coast at Sunset State Beach in Watsonville, California. Camera 1 looks northwest while Camera 2 looks north. The cameras are part of the Remote Sensing Coastal Change project.

Date published: November 29, 2019
Status: Completed

Using Video Imagery to Study Coastal Change: Whidbey Island

From May of 2018 through November of 2019, USGS scientists collected imagery from video cameras overlooking the coast along a beach on Whidbey Island, Island County at the northern boundary of Puget Sound in western Washington.

    Contacts: Eric Grossman
    Date published: July 22, 2019
    Status: Completed

    Using Video Imagery to Study Wave Dynamics: Isla Verde

    USGS scientists installed video cameras atop a building and oceanographic instruments off San Juan, Puerto Rico, to better understand how waves move across coral reefs and cause flooding on tropical shorelines.

    Filter Total Items: 1
    Date published: November 8, 2017

    Eyes on the Coast—Video Cameras Help Forecast Coastal Change

    Coastal communities count on beaches for recreation and for protection from large waves, but beaches are vulnerable to threats such as erosion by storms and flooding. Whether beaches grow, shrink, or even disappear depends in part on what happens just offshore. How do features like shifting sandbars affect waves, currents, and the movement of sand from the beach to offshore and back?