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USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program

Field Activity Details for field activity 2023-012-FA

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Other ID: Marconi Beach 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): Sonar: Single Beam, Location-Elevation: Navigation, Imagery: Photo

Scientific Purpose/Goals: To characterize the beach and nearshore morphology to validate the USGS Total Water Level and Coastal Change Forecast that uses the 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. Includes subaerial survey measurements to map the beach; aerial imagery from kite/balloon to map the beach; and bathymetric soundings from WHOI autonomous surface vehicle to map nearshore. May include measurments to calibrate the CoastCam.


Start Port/Location: Falmouth, MA

End Port/Location: Falmouth, MA

Start Date: 2023-03-20

End Date: 2023-03-22

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

Information to be Derived: Yearly update on topography and bathymetry of the beach and nearshore region in view of the cameras.

Summary of Activity and Data Gathered: Bathymetry data was collected with the ASV Yellowfin on March 20 by J. Over and P. Traykovski, P. Berube assisted. Helikite was flown on March 22 by J. Over, C. Sherwood, and assisted by M. Carson. Wind was onshore and thus the water line was not mapped.

Staff: Jin-Si Over, Christopher Sherwood

Affiliate Staff:

Notes: There will be two days of surveying based on weather.

Entries for this field activity are based on entries from Field Activity 2022-014-FA.


Marconi Beach, Wellfleet, Cape Cod National Seashore, Barnstable County, MA, United States

North: 41.89900178 South: 41.8898755 West: -69.96565313 East: -69.95105473


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


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 Marconi Beach, Wellfleet, Massachusetts in March 2023, U.S. Geological Survey Field Activity 2023-012-FA: U.S. Geological Survey data release,


Data Acquired

Survey EquipmentSurvey InfoData Type(s)Data Collected
Sony a6000JPEG taken every 5 seconds for use in structure from motionPhoto
2023012FA_Marconi_DSM (Digital Surface Model representing Marconi Beach, Wellfleet, MA on March 22, 2023)
2023012FA_Marconi_imagery (Low-altitude aerial imagery collected from a Helikite at Marconi Beach, Wellfleet, MA on March 22, 2023. Also includes the images locations in a CSV file.)
2023012FA_Marconi_ortho (Orthomosaic representing Marconi Beach, Wellfleet, MA on March 22, 2023. )
UAS- heli-kiteFilled with helium and towed by hand up and down the beach with a digital camera and ppk GPS attached.Photo
PPK GPSHot shoed to the camera so there is highly accurate photo location informationNavigation
Cerulean Sonar S-500 Sounderplaced in ASV to record depth to seafloorSingle Beam
2023012FA_Marconi_bathymetry (Bathymetric data and grid of offshore Marconi Beach, Wellfleet, MA on March 20, 2023)
Spectra Precision SP80used as a base and rover in RTK mode to provide location information for QA/QCNavigation
Aeropoint targetsPlaced in survey area as ground control for structure from motionNavigation
2023012FA_Marconi_navigation (Ground control points Marconi Beach, Wellfleet, MA on March 22, 2023)

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