WaveCams: the waves have arrived, where do they come from?

Today we change our perspective. In the previous posts about time-stack construction that allows us to estimate the period and height of the waves, we have always been looking at our beach in a one-dimensional cross-section. Today we will be looking at the waves in two dimensions. The wave direction plays an important role in multiple processes on the coast, it can drastically change the degree of exposure of our beach to storm events, changing the current’s direction and magnitude modifying sediment transport. In short, without an estimation of the direction in which the waves arrive at the coast, the hydro-morphological analysis would be incomplete. To illustrate, let’s travel to […]

WaveCams Time-Stack: Height, energy and more

Welcome back! Today will be our last post of the first WaveCams Time-stack trilogy. We recommend to review our previous posts before starting (What is a time-stack? and the “Time Dimension”). How do we know we can approach the beach safely? Intuitively, we know if the sea is agitated or not, it is easy to perceive the deafening noise of the waves or to notice the great amount of foam produced when big waves break! All the above phenomena are coming from the same process of energy conversion: the bigger the wave, the more energy it carries and therefore the more noise and foam it generates. The breaking of waves […]

WaveCams Time-Stack: The Time Dimension

Welcome to this new post! Today we will introduce the temporal dimension of our Time-stack, if you haven’t seen the explanatory video about this useful image yet I invite you to watch it here so you can better understand what we will see next. When we go to the beach and appreciate the waves our brain automatically interprets the differences in light (light and shadow) as waves that are directed towards us, so we manage to identify patterns on the surface of the sea. If we think about detecting the waves by remote devices, this shadow-light contrast is very useful and interesting to exploit. As we have seen in the […]

WaveCams Time-Stack: Time stack construction

A coastal monitoring system offers multiple opportunities to observe in detail and with high frequency (10 minutes) the physical processes that take place on the coast. In particular, the WaveCams image acquisition technology allows us to obtain diverse hydrodynamic parameters of high interest in the beach’s dynamics. In the example of this video taken in the famous bay of Etretat in France, we can easily observe how a strong longitudinal current develops in medium wave conditions coming from the NW (waves between 1 and 2 meters). Longshore currents are one of the most powerful driven of sediment transport in the coast, and their predominant direction strongly determines how sediments shrink […]