Coastal Erosion Project

Coastal Change From Space

An international group of public agencies has won a major project funded by the European Space Agency (ESA). The consortium will be developing earth observation products to monitor and mitigate coastal erosion.

The coastal environment is constantly changing. Climate change, storm surges, rapid sea level rise and floods impact the coastline and have a substantial economic and human impact through shoreline inland migration.

The agencies and companies involved are:

  • British Geological Survey (UK)
  • IHCantabria (Spain)
  • Geological Survey Ireland (Ireland))
  • isardSAT (Spain)
  • adwäisEO (Luxembourg)
  • Arctus (Canada)
  • IGN-FI (France)

The Coastal Erosion Project is a project within the Science for Society slice of the 5th Earth Observation Envelope Programme (EOEP-5) run by the ESA. The consortium shall explore coastal change from space to prepare the ground for long-term exploitation of remote sensing from satellites by large user communities. It will provide substantial and concrete benefits to communities and will establish the status of coastal defence works and the vulnerability of the coast.

The consortium includes five champion organisations that represent the user communities, focusing on multiple representative coastal environments across four countries. The champion end users are:

  • The Government of Spain’s Ministerio para la Transición Ecológica, which is the national authority responsible for the Spanish coast.
  • The Geological Survey Ireland is the authoritative Irish earth science agency and part of the Department for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, engaging with Ordnance Survey of Ireland and Office of Public Works.
  • The Government of Québec, which is the regional authority of Canada, responsible for the coast of St Lawrence in the province of Québec.
  • The British Geological Survey is a national expert working with regional and local authorities and engaging with Coastal Partnership East, Channel Coastal Observatory, the Environment Agency, the UK Hydrographic Office, the National Oceanographic Centre and coastal engineering consultants and academics. The BGS will coordinate the overall end-user engagement.
  • The potential export market of West Africa is represented by IGN FI (France), the technical operator for export of the Institut Géographique National.

Coastal Erosion is a 24-month project. It is expected to be an ideal platform for research and development in close partnership with the champion end users, therefore best representing the respective communities.

The source of EO data used will be the ground-breaking Sentinel 1 and Sentinel 2 missions of the European Copernicus constellation. This will be combined with data from previous missions.

The project will be presented at the Living Planet Symposium in Milan on 14 May 2019.

Read the full press release.


29 April 2019