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Pacific Coastal & Marine Science Center

Bedform Sedimentology Site—ripples, dunes, and cross-bedding

Grain Size from Digital Images of Sediment

Grain-size hardware

We have fabricated nearly a dozen different instruments for in-situ measurement of bed sediment under water and in air (Rubin and others, 2007; Warrick and others, 2009; Rubin and others, in press). All of the underwater systems all use a video camera or digital camera in an air-filled housing that rests on the bed. By eliminating an optical path through the water, high-quality images can be obtained even in turbid water.

Diagram of eyeball.
By eliminating an optical path through the water, high-quality images can be obtained even in turbid water (Rubin and others, 2007).
Photo of beachball camera.
This hand-held digital still camera is used on beaches, and underwater by divers (Rubin and others, 2007).
Photo of the hand-held camera in use Grand Canyon.
Hand-held camera is being used on a sand bar in Grand Canyon (Rubin and others, 2007).
Photo of wireless camera.
Hand-held wireless camera is linked to a tablet computer, and collects images and calculate grain size in real time in the field.
Photo of boat on the grand canyon with camera.
A video camera in the wrecking ball photographs bed sediment in Grand Canyon (Rubin and others, 2007).
Photo of tripod mounted camera.
A tripod-mounted camera photographs bed sediment ranging in size from sand to boulders (Warrick and others, 2009).
Photo of remote instrument.
This automated system collects bed-sediment images of the seafloor from a remote tripod using a 5-megapixel gigabit Ethernet video camera. Tripod has a hydraulically activated arm that lowers the video camera to the bed at pre-set intervals. Camera housing (top left end of arm) is 30 cm long.

 

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Page Last Modified: 27 October 2010 (lzt)

Link to Grain-sizeHardware page. Link to sample grain-size images page. Link to list of grain-size publications. Link to grain-size computer code page.