Measurements of the time-varying free-surface profile across the swash zone obtained using an industrial LIDAR

C.E. Blenkinsopp, M.A. Mole, I.L. Turner, W.L. Peirson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

53 Citations (Scopus)


The use of an industrial LIDAR instrument to measure time-varying water-surface elevations within the swash zone is investigated. The propagation of the swash lens across the beach face was measured simultaneously by a LIDAR instrument and a network of precision ultrasonic altimeters at a sandy beach. Comparison of the two datasets indicates that the time-varying swash free-surface profile obtained using a LIDAR compare favourably with point measurements obtained using ultrasonic altimeters. Significantly, the use of a continuously scanning laser beam enables a single LIDAR instrument to obtain measurements of free-surface elevation near-synchronously at several hundred points throughout the swash zone. This high spatial resolution permits small-scale flow features such as the swash-front gradient and the presence of secondary bores to be detailed, and negates the need for the deployment of a large, multi-sensor array.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1059-1065
Number of pages7
JournalCoastal Engineering
Issue number11-12
Early online date4 Aug 2010
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010


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