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Data from: Sixteen years of bathymetry and waves at San Diego Beaches

Cite this dataset

Ludka, Bonnie C. et al. (2019). Data from: Sixteen years of bathymetry and waves at San Diego Beaches [Dataset]. Dryad.


Sustained, quantitative observations of nearshore waves and sand levels are essential for testing beach evolution models, but comprehensive datasets are relatively rare. We document beach profiles and concurrent waves monitored at three southern California beaches during 2001-2016. The beaches include offshore reefs, lagoon mouths, hard substrates, and cobble and sandy (medium-grained) sediments. The data span two energetic El Niño winters and four beach nourishments. Quarterly surveys of 165 total cross-shore transects (all sites) at 100m alongshore spacing were made from the backbeach to 8m depth. Monthly surveys of the subaerial beach were obtained at alongshore-oriented transects. The resulting dataset consists of (1) raw sand elevation data, (2) gridded elevations, (3) interpolated elevation maps with error estimates, (4) beach widths, subaerial and total sand volumes, (5) locations of hard substrate and beach nourishments, (6) water levels from a NOAA tide gauge (7) wave conditions from a buoy-driven regional wave model, and (8) time periods and reaches with alongshore uniform bathymetry, suitable for testing 1-dimensional beach profile change models.

Usage notes


Solana Beach
San Diego
Torrey Pines Beach
Cardiff State Beach
La Jolla
Scripps Pier
Imperial Beach