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UAS Based Photogrammetry: A New Tool for Monitoring Beach Nourishment Projects: A Galveston, TX Test Case
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In December of 2016 the “Phase III Beach Nourishment: Seawall East” project started laying down approximately 920,000 m^3 of sand dredged from the Big Reef area on the East end of Galveston Island, TX across 6.2 km of Seawall beaches from 10th Street to 61st Street. This project offered a unique opportunity to collect data on a pre-nourished beach area and monitor that same area monthly post-nourishment over the course of a year. Information on the health and life span of beach nourishment projects is valuable to coastal managing agencies, who require detailed data to back up the investment they have made, as well as for planning future projects. A low cost, easy to use, and quick survey method is required so that such agencies can better monitor their beaches for these purposes. For this thesis a deployment protocol was developed for Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) based photogrammetric modeling methods which were used to generate photorealistic LiDAR quality point clouds to create profiles and sand volume calculations of this beach area for 14 months. Analysis of the data from this survey was conducted to monitor sand retention of the nourishment and documented 26.2% volume loss per year. Wave height data gathered from a NOAA oceanographic and weather buoy near Galveston was compared to beach volume and profile changes which indicates that wave energy as well as high impact tropical storms had a degree of influence (i.e. 24,505 m^3 lost due to Hurricane Harvey) on the newly nourished beach.
Ritt, Benjamin Miller (2018). UAS Based Photogrammetry: A New Tool for Monitoring Beach Nourishment Projects: A Galveston, TX Test Case. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from