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USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program

Field Activity Details for field activity 2021-029-FA

Other ID: DUNEX Topobathy Surveys

Status: Completed

Organization(s): USGS, Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center

Funding Program(s): Next-Generation Total Water Level and Coastal Change Forecast (MN00U03)

Principal Investigator(s): Christopher Sherwood

Affiliate Investigator(s): Jennifer Brown (SPCMSC) Peter Traykovski (WHOI) Patrick Dickhudt (USACE) Katherine Anarde (NCSU) Ryan Mieras (UNCW) Laura Moore (UNC)

Information Specialist(s): Jin-Si Over, Olivia De Meo

Data Type(s): Sonar: Sidescan, Sonar: Single Beam, Location-Elevation: Navigation, Imagery: Photo

Scientific Purpose/Goals: We propose to collect detailed topobathy measurements spanning the nearshore and beach/dune throughout the storm and recovery period(s) during hurricane season. Observations from this site will provide insight into cross-shore storm processes and impacts, including wave transformation and shoreline water levels, rapid changes in coastal elevations, on/offshore sediment exchanges, and resulting habitat changes. These detailed measurements will provide a more complete understanding of storm impacts and recovery on natural beach/dune systems, which will allow us to validate and improve forecasts of water levels, coastal change, and habitat.


Start Port/Location: Dare County, NC

End Port/Location: Dare County, NC

Start Date: 2021-09-06

End Date: 2021-10-20

Equipment Used: Digital camera, Cerulean Sonar S-500 Sounder, PingDSP 3DSS-DX-450, Spectra Precision SP80, PPK GPS, Echosounder ECS 24D, UAS- heli-kite, Aeropoint targets, Ricoh GR II

Information to be Derived: Topography, bathymetry, imagery

Summary of Activity and Data Gathered: DUNEX Pea Island topobathy field work was completed on 10/25/2021. Bathymetry was collected on five different days with the SSV and Yellowfin of WHOI. The heli-kite and Ricoh GRII with plastic ground control points were used to survey eight times. Foot surveys with the SP80 were done on thirteen days. Aeropoints were deployed twice. Two Ricoh GRIIs were broken during field work. Two reference marks were established in the Parking lot of the boat launch on Pea Island.

Staff: Sandra Brosnahan, Jennifer Cramer, Jin-Si Over, Christopher Sherwood

Affiliate Staff:

Notes: This FA is part of DUNEX and covers the topography and bathymetry data while 2021-028-FA covers the cross shore array, grain size, and wave data. Topobathy is related to similar data that was collected in the same spot by Peter Traykovski of WHOI in the donated data 2020-024-DD


Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge, Hatteras Island, North Carolina, United States, Atlantic Ocean

North: 35.68086 South: 35.67481 West: -75.48928 East: -75.46864


photo of on foot
on foot
photo of WHOI SSV
photo of WHOI Yellowfin
WHOI Yellowfin
photo of WHOI NeedleNose
WHOI NeedleNose


Over, J.R., Sherwood, C.R., Hegermiller, C.A., 2021, USGS DUNEX Operations on the Outer Banks: URL:

Over, J.R., Sherwood, C.R., Traykovski, P., Brown, J.A., Kites, Cameras, Action! High-resolution Small-scale Topo-bathy Mapping: , 5th Federal UxS Workshop.

Over, J.R., Sherwood, C.R., Traykovski, P.A., Olson, A.J., Randall, N.R., and Brosnahan, S.M., 2022, DUNEX topographic, bathymetric, and supporting GPS data collected in Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge, North Carolina 2020-2021: U.S Geological Survey data release,


Data Acquired

Survey EquipmentSurvey InfoData Type(s)Data Collected
Digital cameraOn this day the first camera (Ricoh GRII) broke and a back-up SONY ILCE-6000 was used to finish the survey. Photo
Cerulean Sonar S-500 SounderAttached to the WHOI Yellowfin.Single Beam
Single-beam Bathymetry Data from Yellowfin (Trackline, GPS, and soundings from echosounder attached to the ASV Yellowfin (WHOI). Interpolated product is also available as a topobathy raster.)
PingDSP 3DSS-DX-450Attached to NeedlenoseSidescan
DUNEX_PINWR_Sidescan (Sidescan sonar bathymetry products at the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge DUNEX Site, North Carolina in October 2021)
Spectra Precision SP80Spectra Precision equipment used as a rover and base station to collect Real-Time Kinematic (RTK) data (i.e. elevation, position) of a surface or ground control pointNavigation
DUNEX_PINWR_GCP (Ground control points collected for Helikite operations at the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge DUNEX Site, North Carolina in September and October 2021)
Navigation GPS Data (GPS data for reference marks, elevation survey data, ground control points taken with SP80 base and rover combination.)
PPK GPSAn Emlid Reach M2 was attached/hot shoed to the Richo GR II to take a GPS position every time a picture was taken. A base station was also simultaneously taking information. After the field activity the GPS log and base logs were processed. Emlid was also attached to SSV.Navigation
Echosounder ECS 24DAttached to SSV-Small Surf Vessel, Echologger ECS D24 used to collect bathymetry dataSingle Beam
Single Beam Bathymetry data from SSV (Bathymetry trackline data, interpolated product is also available and merged with topography. The ECS 24D is attached to the SSV.)
UAS- heli-kiteUsed as the platform to attach the Ricoh GRII camerasPhoto
Aeropoint targetsThe AeroPoints are deployed as ground control points and have an internal GPS that are uploaded and post-processed in the Propeller network.Navigation
Ricoh GR II --- Photo
DUNEX_PINWR_DSM_2021-029-FA (Digital surface models of Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge DUNEX Site, North Carolina in September and October 2021)
DUNEX_PINWR_ortho_2021-029-FA (Orthomosaics and image locations of Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge DUNEX Site, North Carolina in September and October 2021)
Heli-kite topography surveys (Ricoh camera is attached to Helikite and takes a picture every second. Photos are then used in structure-from-motion)

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