RS4MODY - Remote sensing data for investigating the morphodynamics of the Belgian multi-barred macro-tidal beach

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Context and objectives

BACKGROUND: Macro‐tidal multiple intertidal bars represent an important protection for the subaerial beach from storm erosion by reducing wave energy at the coast. These features are ubiquitous in large tidal environment and could be well‐developed, stretching >5km alongshore.

OVERALL AIM: In the RS4MoDy project, we aim to investigate the dynamics of macro‐tidal barred beach morphology from short (storm‐event) to long‐term (up to 25‐years), and to address the relative roles of meteorological‐marine forcing factors in driving bar behaviour and evolution.

The specific scientific objectives are:

  1. Realise an inventory of archive of high spatial resolution airborne data available;
  2. Demonstrate the use of UAV systems for accurate mapping of the intertidal bars before and after a storm event;
  3. Develop an algorithm for the automated extraction of beach morphology based on LiDAR  and digicam imagery;
  4. Analyze and model how the intertidal bars are structured in space and time based on a statistical analysis. This will be done using the historical and more recent acquired high spatial resolution airborne dataset;
  5. Develop a conceptual model of barred beach morphodynamics incorporating external  forcing factors.

Project outcome

Expected scientific results

The overall anticipated outcome of the project will be thematic maps of the bar morphology, changes and sediment budget for  pre and post‐storm, and also  yearly  scale. A methodology of  automatic extraction of bar based on DTM data with morphometric and volumetric indicators will be developed. Finally, a model including morphodynamics and forcing factors will be developed.

Expected products and services

Generated bar morphology and sediment budgets data and findings of the RS4MoDy project will be made available to the local community and general public through the VLIZ web platform, university websites. A guideline of UAV survey acquisition in macro‐tidal barred beach with methodology of automatic extraction of bars will be reported and disseminated to coastal managers.

Potential users of the RS4MoDy products are project’s stakeholders, remote sensing community, coastal agencies and policymakers.