principal investigator; James C. Gibeaut, Tiffany L. Hepner, Rebecca C. Smyth, and Amy
Neuenschwander (The University of Texas at Austin Center for Space Research)
The goal of this joint program between the University of California, Scripps Institution of
Oceanography, and BEG is to understand beach processes in Southern California, especially the
relationship between seasonal storm patterns, ocean waves, and changes in beach sand level. The
original objective of the collaboration was to collect topographic data along the coast from
Point La Jolla to Dana Point and develop new methods of shoreline mapping using airborne lidar
technology. Lidar surveys were conducted in May, September, and December of 2002 during periods of
low tide. Additional surveys were conducted in March and October 2003. In 2004, the survey area was
increased to include the shoreline from Long Beach south to the U.S.-Mexico border at Tijuana.
Despite poor weather and serious wildfires in southern California during 2004, a comprehensive
survey of this extended area was successfully completed in September. These data are being analyzed
at Scripps and UT.