Violante-Carvalho, N.; D'Avila, V.; Heringer Villena, H.H., and Mendonça Filippo, A.M., 2020. The Flying Anchor: An original technique for beach profile measurements in the surf zone. Journal of Coastal Research, 36(3), 654–660. Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208.
An original method is proposed to measure beach profiles in the surf zone. Surveying this dynamic and energetic region is usually a challenge when waves are large, which is exactly when the nearshore processes are more intense. The lack of bathymetry and wave data is indisputably a limiting factor hindering the understanding of the physics involved. Countless techniques have been proposed in the last decades to increase the temporal and spatial density of such measurements, with different degrees of success. Seeking to bring new approaches to address these issues, the proposed operation consists of launching a specially designed anchor from the beach face over the surf zone, carrying a graduated cable. When the cable is drawn taut, a pressure sensor is hand towed along the sea floor measuring the profile, as well as yielding the wave energy spectrum. The technique is efficient and fast and employs a small team at a very low cost. Some of the main limitations of the known in situ techniques, such as sea state dependency, high cost per profile, and longshore drift, are mitigated.