How to Measure a Beach Slope Angle

In order to keep track of the constant erosion and deposition along a particular beach, you will regularly have to measure beach slopes angles. This is fairly easy task but you can not accomplish it without the help of an assistant so remember to take along a friend before you head towards the beach.

Things Required:

– Surveying poles
– Inclinometer
– Tape measure


  • 1

    Stand at the beach top with your face towards the sea. Place a surveying pole at this location to mark the starting point. Walk down until you reach the end of the beach. Mark this location with a second surveying pole as this is the end point. If you join the start and end points, the resulting line will be at an angle of 90 degrees to the edge of the water.

  • 2

    Go back to the starting point with the surveying pole marking the starting point held vertically in front. Make the person assisting you in the experiment go towards the end point. Observe as your assistant walks and try to get a feel of the point where the beach starts to slope down. Alternatively, ask your assistant to get a feel of the point where the beach starts to slope down. Mark the location with a cross in the sand. Repeat this step at least three times, each time marking the desired location with a cross in the sand. Referring to the three cross marks, figure out the exact location where the beach starts to slope down and place a third surveying pole at this point, naming it as ‘Point 1’.

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  • 3

    Mark the surveying poles at the starting point and ‘Point 1’ at equal heights; say about four feet above the sand level. Use an inclinometer to find out the sloe angle between the marks on the poles. On a sheet of paper, note down the reading as ‘Angle 1’. Using a tape measure, figure out the distance between the two surveying poles and note this reading down as ‘Length 1’.

  • 4

    Now position yourself at ‘Point 1’ and again ask your assistant to walk down the beach. As before, mark the location where you think there was another change in the slope of the beach. As earlier, repeat this step thrice and come up with the second slope down point. Mark this location as ‘Point 2’ with a fourth surveying pole. Mark the pole at pole at ‘Point 2’ two feet above the sand level and measure the angle between marks on the surveying poles at ‘Point 1’ and ‘Point 2’. Measure the distance between ‘Point 1’ and ‘Point 2’. Note down these readings as ‘Angle 2’ and ‘Length 2’ respectively.

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  • 5

    Continue to repeat the earlier step until your assistant reaches the end point. You have successfully measured all the beach slope angles and the corresponding distance between the points where the beach slopes down.

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