Friday, August 1, 2014

Evolution at the Elwha River delta in pictures

I am a big fan of timelapse as a tool for visualizing coastal change. I had the opportunity today to recover photos from a camera that has been looking down at the Elwha River delta since 2011, and put together this annual time series to capture the scale of change. These images were all captured when the water level was between 0.9 and 1.0 m relative to MLLW (as measured in Port Angeles), which makes it easier for the eye to register change, as compared to when the tidal signal is included in the time lapse. Here is an example of what I mean.

Here is today's view:

and this one from 2013 - same day of the year, same water level:

and then the earliest one I will show here, from 2012 (since there really isn't any detectable change between summer 2011 and 2012 in these photos:

Note in the above that the photo timestamp is incorrect. This is, in fact, from 2012.

and here are all three together:

The photo from summer 2013 is a bit mis-leading, since it suggests a relatively small scale of change. But again, the August 2013 photo from above is taken at a water level of ~1m above MLLW. Here is one shot when water level was 0.0 m MLLW (at 6am on 2 August 2013):

You can see here that the scale of change was quite dramatic, but the new delta deposits hadn't built up in elevation to the extent that they have by this point.

A few other views from today:

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