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PWC and ATV for beach surveys

Detailed Description

For typical beach surveys, USGS scientists drive an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) like the one shown here, equpped with precision GPS that collects location and elevation data. Driving along features such as high-water marks, and driving a grid pattern spaced by about 30 meters, enable the collection of a complete 3D representation of the beach surface. Meanwhile, 2 personal watercraft (PWC) operators navigate the shallow water with precision GPS and echosounder systems to collect bottom depth data (bathymetry) to make a continuous beach profile that runs from dry sand into shallow water. The PWCs are also used to establish a set of shore-perpendicular survey lines that can be revisited on future surveys, to compare results easily between time periods. One PWC can be seen in the distance past the ATV. The 6-wheeled "cart" hanging on the back of this ATV is used to transport the PWC from the water, over the beach, and back to transport vehicles in the parking lot. The ATV, and the big tires on the cart, allow for easy towing through soft sand.


Public Domain.