Sea Technology

MAY 2017

The industry's recognized authority for design, engineering and application of equipment and services in the global ocean community

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www.sea-technology.com May 2017 / st 23 R ising temperatures caused by increased carbon levels in the atmosphere are leading to the world's coastlines be- ing ravaged by rising tides, with researchers from universi- ties and other NGOs making great leaps toward identifying the cause and effects of coastal erosion on an international level. Monitoring of the world's coastlines has shown that global sea levels rose roughly 8 in. from 1880 to 2009, with a sharp increase above the 20th-century average of 65 to 90 percent between 1993 and 2008. This increase, coupled with increasingly unstable weather conditions, is leading to our coasts being eroded at greater rates than previously thought. Coastal areas cover only 15 percent of the Earth's land mass, yet they are home to more than 40 percent of the world's population. Unstable and rapidly deteriorating coastlines are putting communities at risk of displacement, with local infrastructure becoming vulnerable to storm surges and in some cases total ruination through changing climatic conditions. The British Geological Survey has stated that 113,000 residential properties, 9,000 commercial operations and 5,000 hect- ares of agricultural land are potentially at risk of damage by coastal erosion in England and Wales alone. In 2001, the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) equated this to £7.7 billion in assets. Understanding the nature and mechanisms of our rising waters and changing climate is of critical importance on an economic, environmental and social level. As in almost all areas of scientific study, it is data-driven technology that is helping us to understand coastal mechanics and how we can best protect our assets and communities, while allow- ing us to create models to help plan for the future. Advanced Survey Methods for Greater Insight LiDAR (light detection and ranging) is a laser-based sur- veying tool that uses light to measure distance by calculat- ing the amount of time it takes for the beam to hit an object and return to the unit. When a laser scanner is com- bined with an inertial measurement unit (IMU) and a GNSS receiver to calculate position Monitoring Coastal Slope Instability Integrated Time-Series Airborne Laser Scanning, Photography By Dr. Neil Slatcher The Whitby coastline.

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