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Argus Beach Monitoring Stations (ABMS)

Quantitative Video Monitoring Services for Coastal Zone

Management and Engineering


The Concept  

Video Metric Systems™ is the only service that gives you continuous, quantitative information on shoreline migration and beach erosion processes for managing your coastal resources.

Please follow this link for a workshop slide show on ABMS technology.

Coastal zone managers and engineers are faced with difficult and complex choices in deciding how best to reduce property damage when storms strike and how to maintain the economic vitality of our recreational shorelines.  One of the problems they face is errors and uncertainties in the information available to them on the processes that cause erosion of our beaches and the results of those processes. This problem is so important that the National Research Council (NRC) has recommended that better ways must be found to produce quantitative information for monitoring the causes and progress of shoreline erosion.

With Video Metric Systems we’ve taken the NRC recommendation seriously. Using the Argus Beach Monitoring Station (ABMS), we can give you the quantitative information you want with the accuracy you need for managing your coastal resources.  Our service produces numeric and graphical data products (see Data Products and Services) using state-of-the-art digital video image processing and photogrammetric techniques.  Video-based monitoring lets us collect data continuously at low cost and produce spatial and time series analyses (see below) of shoreline processes over a wide range of averaging intervals.

The ABMS technology is the only solution that can provide information on both outcomes and events (i.e., what happened) and processes (i.e., why did something happen). In the same way that a weather satellite in geostationary orbit continuously looks down on a part of the earth, the cameras of an ABMS provide continuous imagery over several kilometers of shoreline. An appropriate analogy for an ABMS is to think of it as a "micro-satellite" in a geostationary orbit over a beach. Through sophisticated camera models and image processing techniques, ABMS images are merged and rectified to present a "satellite-eye" view of the coastal zone. In the same way that meteorological features can be located and tracked over time by a weather satellite, the ABMS data yield continuous information on beach characteristics and wave conditions, such as shoreline location, beach area, sand bar development and movement, beach sand and volume changes, and wave patterns. Using advanced analysis techniques the ABMS data can be used to measure wave run-up, wave energy, intertidal beach profiles, characteristics of the swash zone, offshore bathymetry, and other important processes and features of the nearshore.


Trends analysis

Trends analysis of the rate of erosion of a nourished beach measured by an Argus Beach Monitoring Station.


October '96 shoreline and beach area April '98 shoreline and beach area

Change in shoreline and area of a nourished beach over an 18 month period measured by an Argus Beach Monitoring Station.


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4118 148th Ave NE Redmond, WA 98052
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Copyright   1999 - 2001 NorthWest Research Associates, Inc. All rights reserved.

Last updated August 2001