Accession Number:



Continuously Operating Dune-Mounted Lidar System at the Field Research Facility: A Report Detailing Lidar Collection, Processing, Evaluation, and Product Development

Descriptive Note:

Technical Report

Corporate Author:

ERDC/CHL Field Research Facility Duck United States

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



The Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory, Field Research Facility FRF, stationary lidar tower in Duck, NC, provides hourly, high-density point cloud data of the ocean, foreshore, and dune. This report documents the system and approaches used to collect, process, and analyze the lidar data. Data collection consists of a single 30-minute linescan and three framescans collected every hour. The linescans generate a two-dimensional cross-shore timeseries of the dry beach, swash, inner-surf zone waves, and water levels. The three framescans are used to generate a three-dimensional point-cloud and digital elevation model of the dry beach, quantifying changes along 500 meters of beach. Data are processed in near-real-time using automated algorithms that translate raw data into accurate geo-referenced coordinates by co-registering all data to fixed objects. Linescan data provide quantitative measurements of beach morphology change on very short timescales seconds to minutes, as well as time-series statistics that include wave run-up elevations, inner-surf zone waves, and setup. This system improves upon the FRF capacity to observe the beach and surfzone onshore of the sandbar in near-real-time. These measurements will therefore serve as a crucial component of the FRF Coastal Model Testbed, providing detailed morphological and hydrodynamic observations at the shoreline.

Subject Categories:

  • Physical and Dynamic Oceanography
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Computer Programming and Software

Distribution Statement: