Shoreline mapping and change detection

Coastal erosion can cause flooding, rock falls, land slides, loss of land and damage to infrastructure. Sediment deposition and moving sandbanks obstruct port inlets and reduce maritime safety.  Regular monitoring of shoreline changes allows a better understanding of the processes involved and makes it possible to identify susceptible locations, so that measures may be taken to reduce risk to people, businesses and infrastructure.

This service will deliver coastline maps for selected regions identified in consultation with local experts. The method works by identifying land-water boundaries in time series of SAR data and high-resolution optical images. Vertical location of the shoreline relative to mean sea level is determined for each image. Estimates of the horizontal location of the shoreline corresponding to mean sea level, and the locations of high and low water lines are determined from statistical analysis and tidal modelling. The time series of contour lines yields a course map of intertidal bathymetry, which may be combined with other maps of shallow-water bathymetry.