This report describes the methods used, data collected, and results of the Beach Morphology Monitoring Program in the Elwha River Littoral Cell, starting in 2004. The U.S. Geological Survey and the Washington State Department of Ecology collaborated in the data collection with the support of the local Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe. Beach monitoring efforts consisted of collecting topographic and bathymetric horizontal and vertical position data by using a Real Time Kinematic Differential Global Positioning System (RTK-DGPS). The monitoring program was designed to characterize the littoral system of the Elwha River before the scheduled removal of two large dams in 2012. A primary objective of this work is to quantitatively describe the topography and bathymetry of the Elwha River littoral system so that the effects of dam removal may be quantified. Sediment inputs following dam removal are hypothesized to result in (A) larger amounts of fine sediment grain-sizes entering the littoral system and, (B) a reduction or reversal of coastal erosion.
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USGS Numbered Series
Beach morphology monitoring in the Elwha River Littoral Cell, 2004-2009