High-resolution monitoring of wave transformation in the surf zone using a LiDAR scanner array

Kevin Martins, Christopher Blenkinsopp, Hannah E. Power, Brittany Bruder, Jack A. Puleo, Erwin Bergsma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Citations (SciVal)
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Understanding of breaking and broken waves is key for the prediction of nearshore sediment transport and coastal hazards, however the difficulty of obtaining measurements of highly unsteady nearshore waves has limited the availability of field data. This paper reports on a novel field experiment designed to capture the time-varying free-surface throughout the surf and swash zones was conducted on a dissipative sandy beach using an array of 2D LiDAR scanners. Three scanners were deployed from the pier at Saltburn-by-the-Sea, UK for a 6 day period to monitor the surface elevation of nearshore waves from the break point to the runup limit at temporal and spatial resolutions (order of centimetres) rarely achieved in field conditions. The experimental setup and the procedure to obtain a continuous time series of surface elevation and wave geometry is described. A new method to accurately determine the break point location is presented and compared to existing methodologies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-43
Number of pages7
JournalCoastal Engineering
Early online date4 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2017


  • Surf zone
  • Breaking waves
  • Terrestrial laser scanners (LiDAR)
  • Wave-by-wave approach


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