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USGS Scientists Co-authored Paper on Remote Calibration of Beach Cams

Jenna Brown (MD/DE/DC WSC) and Meg Palmsten (SPCMSC) co-authored a recently-published manuscript describing a new coastal monitoring tool

The paper, titled “SurfRCaT: A tool for remote calibration of pre-existing coastal cameras to enable their use as quantitative coastal monitoring tools,” was published in the journal SoftwareX. Beach and surf cams present in communities around the US represent an untapped resource for studying coastal change hazards and validating models like the Total Water Level and Coastal Change Forecast. The ability to remotely calibrate recreational beach cameras presented in this manuscript allows scientists to make quantitative observations from qualitative beach cameras. The manuscript describes an open source Python toolbox that allows the user to extract information from airborne lidar observations and beach camera imagery through a graphical user interface to be used in camera calibration. Once the camera is calibrated, quantitative observations of shoreline and dune position, total water level, wave period and direction, surface currents, and nearshore bathymetry including uncertainty estimates, can be used for scientific purposes. The tool is available at


Read what else is new at the St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center.


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