A temporal waterline approach to mapping intertidal areas using X-band marine radar

Bell, Paul S. ORCID:; Bird, Cai O.; Plater, Andrew J.. 2016 A temporal waterline approach to mapping intertidal areas using X-band marine radar. Coastal Engineering, 107. 84-101.

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© 2015 Elsevier B.V. This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Coastal Engineering. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version has been published in Coastal Engineering doi:10.1016/j.coastaleng.2015.09.009)
Waterline Paper - Accepted for publication.pdf - Accepted Version

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Mapping the morphology of intertidal areas is a logistically challenging, time consuming and expensive task due to their large expanse and difficulties associated with access. A technique is presented here that uses standard marine navigational radar operating at X-band frequency. The method uses a series of time-exposure radar images over the course of a two-week tidal cycle to identify the elevation of the wetting and drying transitions at each pixel in the radar images, thereby building up a morphological map of the target intertidal area. This “Temporal Waterline” method is applied to a dataset acquired from Hilbre Island at the mouth of the Dee Estuary, UK, spanning March 2006 to January 2007. The radar gathered data with a radial range of 4 km and the resulting elevation maps describe the intertidal regions of that area. The results are compared with airborne LiDAR data surveyed over the same area and within the radar survey time period. The residual differences show good agreement across large areas of beach and sandbanks, with concentrations of poor estimations around points that are shadowed from the radar or likely to suffer from pooling water. This paper presents the theoretical framework of the method and demonstrates its stability and accuracy. The Temporal Waterline radar method is aimed at providing a useful tool for the monitoring and operational management of coastlines.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 0378-3839
NORA Subject Terms: Marine Sciences
Date made live: 24 Sep 2015 14:58 +0 (UTC)

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