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NWRA - since 1984 Mouth of the Columbia River
Monitoring from the North Head Lighthouse Ilwaco, Washington, USA
US Army Corps - Portland District

The North Head Lighthouse has been refurbished and a new, state-of-the-art Argus station has been installed. The new URL for this station is http://cil-www.coas.oregonstate.edu/nrthhead.html

Benson Beach Snapshot Images - Updated hourly
( 28 Feb 2015 10:05 PST )

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Camera 7 Camera 6 Camera 5 Camera 4
Four cameras (numbered 4 - 7, west to east) are aimed along Benson Beach, designed to span from the western tip of the north jetty shoreward to the beach and adjacent dunes and grasses. 50mm lenses are used to better resolve shoreline and sandbar location changes, and to evaluate waves and currents along this 3km stretch of beach and surf zone. Images of Benson Beach are acquired every hour. The most recent snapshots are displayed above.

SWS Plan View - Updated Hourly
( 28 Feb 2015 02:05 PST)

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This plan view image is derived from 10-minute video clips of all seven cameras and processed to capture the brightest (white) spots (pixels) in these images over the 10 minutes. Since wave breaking is white against the blue sea, this composite of brightest pixels can serve to indicate locations of wave breaking during the 10 minute period. This image is updated hourly whereas the snap images above are updated every 20 minutes. The yellow box outlines the location of the SWS with red dots marking the nominal location of buoys.
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SWS Snapshot Images - Updated every 20 minutes
( 28 Feb 2015 10:20 PST )

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Camera 4 Camera 3 Camera 2 Camera 1

Four cameras (numbered 1 - 4, west to east) are used to view the Shallow Water Site (SWS) and the MCR Bar; camera 1 captures the western edge of SWS, camera 4 captures the eastern edge. High power lenses (50mm) are used to capture the presence or absence of wave breaking.

(Disclaimer: The quality of all these pictures is subject to weather conditions. In addition, these snapshots can only capture a moment in time and therefore are not absolute indicators of the presence or absence of wave breaking.)

Sample Image and Data Products

These individual camera images can be combined using photogrammetry methods to generate panoramas and rectified plan view images

Panoramic Image
Figure 1. Panoramic image acquiredfrom cameras 1 through 7 on 10 January 2011 at 1900 GMT (1100 PST). Click image for larger version

Sand Bar Map - Grayscale Alongshore Beach Slope Map
Figure 2. Bar-plot plan view of Benson Beach taken 26 March 2011. The dry-beach and shoreline (top of image) and North Jetty (right side of image) are darker; the North Jetty is lying on its side (a by-product of assuming all features are at sea-level). The submerged sand bars are whiter features indicating wave breaking. The crest of the "middle" sand bar is marked in blue and the "outer" sand bar in red. The MHW shoreline is marked in green. The dashed lines indicate the location of the sand bar approximately 2 weeks earlier, providing information on sand bar movement.
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Figure 3. An intermediate data product of intertidal, shoreface bathymetry (left panel). The cross-shore depth profile is shown for two alongshore locations in the middle panels and the estimated beach slopes along the full length of beach are presented in the right panel. Shoreface slope changes significantly on this beach between storm events and seasonally, ranging from less than 1 in 100 to more than 1 in 20. Shoreward migration of sand bars onto the beach face can result dramatic changes in the summer.
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2.0 NAVD88 Shorelines
Figure 4.2.0m NAVD88 (MHW) shoreline contour-plots, in Argus coordinates, from February 2004 through September 2011. Shown in bold are late March contours for each year. Noted are the similar salient features around 2200m Argus Alongshore that occurred in Fall 2006 and 2010. The 2006 feature was natural, the 2010 feature was man-made [the result of the South West Washington Littoral Drift Restoration dredge material placement effort.
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Figure 5. Dry-beach acreage (sq meters) from February 2004 through September 2011. Changes in dry beach acreage reflect average changes of the MHW shoreline along Benson Beach. Note the bi-annual pattern of winter erosion and summer accretion.
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There are many data products that can be derived from Argus data. For a more complete presentation of data products, please click on the link, Data Products on the left hand side of the navigation bar, or click here.

ABMS and ABMS studies around the globe, contact argus-info@nwra.com.

For more information about:

The Columbia Regional Sediment Management (RSM) project, contact Hans R. (Rod) Moritz or Michael Ott of the Portland District, US Army Corps of Engineers

US Army Corps - Portland District

North Head ABMS data products and reports are brought to you by

NWRA - since 1984

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