Coastal Erosion

So what is our job? We are under contract from ESA to research and demonstrate how the Sentinel satellites observing the earth can help monitor the changes along the coasts caused by erosion and accretion.

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We are doing this by adopting an innovative pre-processing step to better position each pixel from the downloaded images and then we can precisely extract where the waterlines are. Having done this we can correct those lines for the amount of tide at the time that the image was observed and then we can monitor the time series of these derived shorelines with our partners to help understand the changes we observe. We are also looking at the 3 dimensional shape of the coast profile to derive models that help provide some understanding of the volumes of beach that change.

We are now in the 13th week of lockdown for the Coastal Erosion team here in ARGANS Ltd but this period hasn’t been as big a shock as you might imagine. For a start our partners within the project come from the British Geological Survey up in Nottingham, IH Cantabria in Santander, Geological Survey of Ireland in Dublin and our Canadian friends from Arctus based in Quebec, so working via video links is mostly business as usual. For the ARGANS team though, we have had some changes with staff moving back home to Spain and Jersey, however part of the team has always been based in Casablanca and others are in Sophia-Antipolis on the French Riviera….this is truly a cosmopolitan approach.

Of course none of this work can be served without a decent web service backed by a suitable database. Thankfully we are also working with our partner AdwaisEO, who not only help with providing rapid access to the Sentinel mission via their unique and complete archive, but as a serious data centre they provide our storage and processing power.

Currently our production is focused on the Cadiz Bay, however we have delivered many 100s of km of coastline products in Ireland and Quebec. After the Spanish beaches we will move to the English coast and I will let you know how that goes later in this series.

And of course an EO Blog requires some mandatory images to enjoy:



A Waterline Heatmap derived from Senitnel-2 data (from 2018) applicable for Shorelines, based on overlapping waterline positions with each segment given a QC score separate to internal QC score.