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The UPV designs a tool that helps monitor the impact of storms on beaches


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The UPV designs a tool that helps monitor the impact of storms on beaches


A team from the Geoenvironmental Cartography and Remote Sensing (CGAT) group of the Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV) has developed SAET, a novel tool that helps monitor the impact of coastal storms on beaches and characterize their recovery in the following months. from satellite images.

Its use allows obtaining extremely useful information for coastal managers, and helps make the best decisions about when and how to act to protect beaches, the university indicated in a statement.

The researcher from the CGAT group of the UPV, Carlos Cabezas, has highlighted that "in the current context of climate change, coastal storm events are increasingly more frequent and of greater magnitude." "These episodes give rise to or increase the existing erosive processes on the coasts and put at risk the maintenance of the functions of the beaches," he pointed out.

"Given the great economic and environmental value that beaches present for coastal societies, analyzing and understanding how storm events affect is key to planning possible responses and adaptations by coastal and territorial managers. And our work contributes to this. SAET tool", he highlighted.

The team of UPV researchers has just published a study on the use of this tool, in which they analyzed in detail the effects that the Gloria storm produced on the beaches of the Ebro Delta in January 2020.

This episode caused important morphological alterations on the entire Mediterranean coast, modifying the beaches, dune ridges and causing damage to human infrastructure. As regards the Ebro Delta, the impact at an ecological level and on the agriculture of the delta was also notable.

In their study, the UPV researchers characterized the changes in the position of the coastline automatically from the Sentinel-2 satellite images (from the European Space Agency, ESA) and Landsat 8 (from the Geological Service of the United States, USGS and NASA), using the SAET tool - the acronym in English for Shoreline Analysis and Extraction Tool.

"This tool allows us to obtain, from satellite images, an exact x-ray of the morphology of the analyzed areas. To validate it, we applied it to a high-impact case study such as Gloria. Although, it can be applied to characterize and understand the impact that these high-energy phenomena have on any other coastal area," Cabezas concluded.

The study developed by the Geoenvironmental Cartography and Remote Sensing group (CGAT) has been published in the journal Coastal Engineering and is also part of the European project ECFAS ("A proof of concept for the implementation of a European Copernicus Coastal Flood Awareness System).

Funded by the EU, the ECFAS project aims to demonstrate the technical and operational feasibility of a European Coastal Flood Information and Warning System.