Beach Slopes

Did you make yourself some surveying equipment and practice measuring slopes?  Now let’s take these skills to the beach.

First of all check the tide times.  You don’t want to turn up and find that the tide is in, and the beach is underwater, leaving you nothing to do but sit on the prom and eat ice cream!

Try to visit your beach close to low tide time and preferably before low tide so that the tide is still going out.  This is safer, just in case you get so engrossed in your fieldwork that you forget to keep an eye on the position of the water.

Start close to the water’s edge.  Stand with the sea behind you looking up the slope.

It might be pretty flat so you can expect a low slope angle.  Measure the 10 metres, put the poles at each end, use your clinometer and make a note of the reading.  (Take a look back at last week’s post for a more detailed reminder of how to do it).

Tip – Make sure that the tape on the poles is still at the same height.  If you’ve turned one pole round, while transporting them, you might get some weird answers.

When you have taken the first measurement, the person at the pole furthest from the sea needs to turn round to face up the slope.  They are now the first pole for the next measurement.  Measure a new 10 metres from here carrying on away from the sea.  Once you have a pole on each end again, measure the slope angle and make a note of it.  (Those of you on my mailing list will have a fieldwork recording sheet in your inbox.)

Carry on taking your measurements until you reach the prom, cliffs, dunes or whatever and run out of beach.

It’s best to process your results when you get home, so make sure you’ve got all the numbers written down and then enjoy an ice cream.  I’ll tell you what to do with the results next week.