Sediment Monitoring


Mapping sediment in the coastal zone
Mapping and monitoring is a prerequisite for the assessment of changes. For coastal zone management, e.g. related to coastal policy making, dredging activities and construction of infrastructure and offshore wind farms – a quantification of changes is a necessity.

With sediment mapping based on satellite data typical constraints such as lack of sufficient field measurements, funding for costly measurement campaigns and delay on campaign results are no longer an issue.

Satellite based sediment mapping benefits include:


  • Near real time mapping with data delivery within hours after the satellite overpass
  • Historical analysis possible based on archived satellite data to establish baselines
  • Cost-effective compared to traditional monitoring methods (in-situ collection, buoy measurements etc.)
  • Provides information on spatial variation – not just a point measurement
  • Data available in a ready to use format – easy incorporation into existing GIS systems and databases
Absolute or relative values
Often relative values are sufficient to identify areas which are prone to heavy sediment loads or to monitor general patterns of sediment movements. Absolute values can be derived through calibration against in-situ data from automatic data loggers.

This type of information can be delivered in near real time for regional studies (250 m – 1200 m resolution) and within a few days for detailed studies (0.6 m – 30 m resolution).

Typical usage
Coastal policy and management: identification of potential sedimentation problems, environmental impact assessment, monitoring conditions during coastal constructions.

Coastal construction: documentation of environmental impact, optimal site identification, identifying baseline conditions.

Dredging activities: Estimate sediment movements, document environmental impact of activities, calibrate sediment movement models.