Investigation: Shoreline Erosion Mapping

Instructions / How to do this investigation

Erosion Protocol

  1. Download Google Earth Pro
  2. Get familiar with Google Earth by searching for a specific location and playing with the history. Try a different location.
  3. Go to search at upper left and search your location
  4. Zoom into the area you want to study. Find endpoints to help guide your mapping. Make sure the area you’re zoomed into is the area you’ll be mapping.
  5. Make a prediction about how erosion has changed over time at this location. Be sure to record your prediction somewhere. 
  6. Change angle (go into view, reset, tilt)
  7. Go to the ruler in the upper toolbar and ensure the scale is in feet.
  8. Click on the year at the bottom left to get the scale of dates on the upper left.
  9. Choose the earliest year with a useable map – some older maps are too blurry or pixelated to get an accurate measurement.
  10. Decide how you are going to draw vegetation. You can choose to include sparse vegetation or not. Sparse vegetation means areas where there is not a lot of plant growth or minimal plant growth including small shrubs, bushes, and/or grass. 
  11. Add a path (click path in the ruler window)
  12. Click on points to create your path for accuracy
  13. Turn on temporary places.
    1. Save
    2. Name it
    3. Click on Style/Color, Choose color (use 3 for width)
    4. Press ok
  14. Choose a new year (we documented every 2 to 3 years) and repeat
  15. Lines will be saved under temporary places. (Click on the years you want to show on the map)
  16. Take a screenshot comparing all lines. 
  17. You will want to label the color you used for each year.


Data sheet:

  1. Predictions 
  2. Outcomes
  3. Years of known impactful storms
  4. Years surveyed
  5. GPS coordinates for the survey location
  6. Beach geographic information (direction facing, sheltered/open ocean, substrate (sandy, rocky, etc)
  7. Upload an image of your map


Tell us how your data collection/analysis is going

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