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USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program

Field Activity Details for field activity 2023-011-FA

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Other ID: Head of the Meadow 2023

Status: Completed

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

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

Principal Investigator(s): Christopher Sherwood

Affiliate Investigator(s): Peter Traykovski (WHOI)

Information Specialist(s): Jin-Si Over

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

Scientific Purpose/Goals: To characterize the beach and nearshore morphology used to validate the USGS Total Water Level and Coastal Change Forecast and use of ARGUS Camera systems (CoastCams) to visualize and map the beach and nearshore region to determine the types of bar morphologies, their persistence and temporal variability, and the relationship of these changes to wave and water-level conditions. This includes subaerial survey measurements to map the beach; aerial imagery from kite/balloon (Heli-kite) to map beach; bathymetric soundings from WHOI autonomous surface vehicle to map nearshore. Surveys are repeat from 2020-015-FA, 2021-014-FA, and 2022-015-FA at Head of the Meadow.


Start Port/Location: Falmouth, MA

End Port/Location: Falmouth, MA

Start Date: 2023-03-10

End Date: 2023-04-07

Equipment Used: Sony a6000, PPK GPS, Spectra Precision SP80, Aeropoint targets, UAS- heli-kite, Cerulean Sonar S-500 Sounder

Information to be Derived: Updated year of change at Head of the Meadow of the topography and bathymetry of the beach and nearshore region in view of the cameras.

Summary of Activity and Data Gathered: Helikite was deployed on March 10 - C. Sherwood, J. Over, P. Traykovski, and I. Reeves assisted. Photos were overexposed on first two attempts and thus the tide came up so survey does not cover as much of the low beach as previous field activities. Bathymetry was done on April 7 by C. Sherwood, P. Traykovski, and J. Over - Yellowfin was used and extent mapped is greater than previous surveys due to interesting features observed from the beach.

Staff: Jin-Si Over, Christopher Sherwood

Affiliate Staff:

Notes: Survey days and personnel will be based on availability and weather
Entries for this field activity are based on entries from Field Activity 2022-015-FA.


Head of the Meadow Beach, Truro Cape Cod National Seashore, Barnstable County, MA, United States

North: 42.05933014 South: 42.04906957 West: -70.08041382 East: -70.06998539


photo of WHOI Yellowfin
WHOI Yellowfin
photo of on foot
on foot


Hill, J., Sherwood, C., 2024, Measuring coastal change through photogrammetry at Head of the Meadow Beach in Truro, Massachusetts: , Ocean Sciences Meeting 2024.

Over, J.R., Sherwood, C.R., and Traykovski, P.A., 2023, Topographic and bathymetric data, structure from motion imagery, and ground control data collected at Head of the Meadow Beach, Truro, MA in March and April 2023, U.S. Geological Survey Field Activity 2023-011-FA: U.S. Geological Survey data release,


Data Acquired

Survey EquipmentSurvey InfoData Type(s)Data Collected
Sony a6000JPEG taken every 5 seconds.Photo
2023011FA_Truro_imagery_metadata (Low-altitude aerial imagery collected from a Helikite at Head of the Meadow Beach, Truro, MA on March 10, 2023. Dataset also includes a CSV file of image locations.)
2023011FA_Truro_ortho (Orthomosaic representing Head of the Meadow Beach, Truro, MA on March 10, 2023)
PPK GPSHot shoed to the camera so there is highly accurate photo location information and also on Autonomous Surface Vehicle YellowfinNavigation
Spectra Precision SP80used in RTK mode to provide location information to the tarp targets used as ground control Navigation
Aeropoint targetsPlaced in survey area as ground control for structure from motion Navigation
UAS- heli-kiteFilled with helium and towed by hand up and down the beach with a digital camera and ppk GPS attached.Photo
Cerulean Sonar S-500 Sounderplaced in ASV to record depth to seafloor Single Beam
2023011FA_Truro_bathymetry (Bathymetric data and grid of offshore Head of the Meadow Beach, Truro, MA on April 7, 2023)

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