Estimation of Optimal Beach Profile Sample Intervals


  • Jonathan D. Phillips


Beach profile, beach survey, coastal geomorphology, sample intervals, semivariance function



Although alternatives abound, some types of research in applied coastal geomorphology require repititive monitoring of beach profile transects with elevations recorded at fixed intervals. Where the primary purpose of survey profiles is to estimate beach volumes and sediment budgets, only a reasonable approximation of the beach surface or a reliable estimate of mean elevation is necessary. In such cases field time may be minimized with no cost in accuracy by using wider spacing of sample intervals than is usually the case. The semivariance function is proposed as a method or choosing optimal profile sample intervals, and its use for that purpose is illustrated. Semivariance functions reveal spatial dependencies in survey data which typically provide estimates of optimal sample intervals and justification or less intensive surveys.