USGS iCoast – Did the Coast Change?

Posted by Michelle Howard
Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Hurricane season starts again this June. Do you know what happens to our coasts after these extreme storms? The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has launched a new crowdsourcing application called “iCoast – Did the Coast Change?” to show you these coastal changes from extreme storms.

iCoast allows citizen scientists to identify changes to the coast by comparing aerial photographs taken before and after storms.

Crowdsourced data from iCoast will help USGS improve predictive models of coastal change and educate the public about the vulnerability of coastal communities to extreme storms.

Aerial Imagery of the Coast Before and After Storms
Since 1995, the USGS has collected more than 140,000 aerial photographs of the Atlantic and Gulf coasts after 24 hurricanes and other extreme storms. Just for Hurricane Sandy alone, more than 9,000 aerial photographs were taken a week after the storm.

USGS acquires high-resolution oblique aerial photography after extreme storms and compares them to imagery collected before the storms. These aerial photographs are taken at a low altitude to capture a small area of the coast. USGS collects aerial imagery to ground truth and improve the USGS coastal change probability models.

“Computers cannot yet automatically identify damages and geomorphic changes to the coast from the oblique aerial photographs,” said Sophia B. Liu, USGS Mendenhall Postdoc Fellow. “Human intelligence is still needed to finish the job.”

Without the personnel or capacity to analyze all the photographs taken after every storm, the USGS decided to launch a citizen science project, asking citizens to help identify changes to the coast while also gaining knowledge about coastal hazards.


USGS determines probabilities of hurricane-induced coastal change for the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of our Nation to better inform evacuation, response, preparedness, and mitigation efforts.


The Power of Citizen Science and Crowdsourcing
Analyzing the aerial photographs to identify storm damage will help coastal scientists refine their predictive models of coastal erosion and damage caused by extreme storms. Currently, these mathematical models are derived from dune elevation and predicted wave action during storms. Adding the human observations will allow the scientists to validate the models and to provide better predictions of damage before storms occur.

“After an event like Hurricane Sandy there is always a great interest in our photographs,” said Barbara Poore, USGS Research Geographer. “The USGS iCoast team hopes that people will learn about coastal change and about their personal vulnerabilities to extreme storms.”

Integrating Citizen Science into the Model
Research on storm-induced coastal change hazards provides the data and modeling capabilities to allow the USGS to identify areas of the U.S. coastline that are likely to experience extreme and potentially hazardous erosion during hurricanes or other extreme storms.

To assess coastal vulnerability to extreme storms, the USGS has developed a Storm-Impact Scale to produce Coastal Change Probability estimates.

Hurricane-induced water levels, due to both storm surge and waves, are compared to beach and dune elevations to determine the probabilities of these types of coastal change processes:
 

  •     Beach Erosion occurs when wave runup is confined to the beach.
  •     Dune Erosion occurs when the base or toe of the dune is eroded by waves and storm surge.
  •     Overwash occurs when sand is transported and deposited landward over the beach and dune by waves and storm surge.
  •     Inundation occurs when the beach and dune are completely and continuously submerged by storm surge and wave runup.


Benefits of the USGS iCoast Project
There are scientific, technological, and societal benefits to the iCoast project. The crowdsourced data from iCoast will enhance predictive modeling of coastal erosion to better inform emergency managers, planners, and residents of coastal vulnerabilities in their regions.

Citizen science projects like iCoast serve the cause of Open Government and Open Data, by sharing USGS aerial imagery with the public. iCoast can also be a great tool for marine science educators to create interactive and fun lessons related to coastal hazards.

Maritime Today


The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter April 2016 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Technology

FUSION Partners Axopar Boats

FUSION, announced today that it signed a partnership with Axopar Boats. Under the terms of the agreement, the full range of Axopar boats will be offered with FUSION

Aydin Marine Debuts Multi-Touch K-17T

Aydin Marine – the manufacturer of industry-leading, type-approved displays, computers and peripherals, announced today the release of a 17-inch multi-touch, sunlight-readable

Alfa Laval HCO Filter Approved for Validation Testing

A manufacturer of two-stroke engines has agreed to validation tests of an Alfa Laval hydraulic control oil (HCO) filter . The approval to test the final HCO filter

Navigation

Aydin Marine Debuts Multi-Touch K-17T

Aydin Marine – the manufacturer of industry-leading, type-approved displays, computers and peripherals, announced today the release of a 17-inch multi-touch, sunlight-readable

Raytheon Anschütz Steering Gear Control for Luxury Cruise Ships

The German navigation system manufacturer Raytheon Anschütz was awarded a retrofit contract of steering gear control systems for two luxury cruise ships chartered by Noble Caledonia Ltd.

Smulders Appointed CEO of Radio Holland

Paul Smulders has been appointed CEO of Radio Holland, part of the RH Marine Group (formerly Imtech Marine).   Smulders returns to Radio Holland where he started

News

Louis Dreyfus, Amaggi Hire HSBC to Sell Terminal Stake

Agricultural commodity traders Louis Dreyfus Co B.V. and Amaggi Group have hired HSBC Holdings Plc to sell part or the entire 25 percent stake they hold in a terminal at the Brazilian port of Itaqui,

GPA Will Continue Weighing Containers at No Cost to Shippers

The U.S. Coast Guard announced last week that state-calibrated scales already in use at the Port of Savannah meet a new requirement of the international Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention.

ITIC Reports on Ship Agents' Costly Transhipment Errors

International Transport Intermediaries Club (ITIC) says it continues to deal on a regular basis with claims resulting from errors by agents involving transhipment cargoes.

Marine Science

ICS Pushing For Balanced Update of York Antwerp Rules

At the Comité Maritime International (CMI) Conference, in New York this week, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) will be pressing to ensure that the proposed

Aydin Marine Debuts Multi-Touch K-17T

Aydin Marine – the manufacturer of industry-leading, type-approved displays, computers and peripherals, announced today the release of a 17-inch multi-touch, sunlight-readable

Dryad Maritime Unveil WxConnect

Today, 5th May 2016, Dryad Maritime release WxConnect, a new scalable, managed weather forecasting service for ships and fleets. The launch of the service comes

Coast Guard

Vietnam Asks Japan for Vessels to Strengthen Coastguard

Vietnam has asked Japan to provide vessels to strengthen its coastguard, a Japanese official said on Thursday, in the latest sign of growing ties among the states locked in maritime rows with China.

GPA Will Continue Weighing Containers at No Cost to Shippers

The U.S. Coast Guard announced last week that state-calibrated scales already in use at the Port of Savannah meet a new requirement of the international Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention.

Great Lakes Shipyard Performs USCG Drydocking

On April 25, Great Lakes Shipyard hauled out the U.S. Coast Guard’s 125’ x 52’ Aids to Navigation Barge (12001). Using the Shipyard’s 770-ton Marine Travelift,

Government Update

Vietnam Asks Japan for Vessels to Strengthen Coastguard

Vietnam has asked Japan to provide vessels to strengthen its coastguard, a Japanese official said on Thursday, in the latest sign of growing ties among the states locked in maritime rows with China.

FMC Chairman Applauds USCG Statement on Container Weights

Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) Chairman Mario Cordero commended the Coast Guard for issuing a bulletin last week regarding container weights that he hopes allows

OMB - Subchapter M Cleared for Publication

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) completed its review of the draft final rule entitled Inspection of Towing Vessels, also known as "Subchapter M." The

Ocean Observation

Dryad Maritime Unveil WxConnect

Today, 5th May 2016, Dryad Maritime release WxConnect, a new scalable, managed weather forecasting service for ships and fleets. The launch of the service comes

Oceans Gasping for Breath, Oxygen Running Low!

Rising levels of CO2 are making it hard for fish to breathe in addition to exacerbating global warming and ocean acidification.   Climate change has caused a

Panama Canal Dismisses ITF Claims

The Panama Canal has dismisses claims by the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) that questions industry standards and the operation of the Expanded Panama Canal’s new locks.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Salvage Ship Repair Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1001 sec (10 req/sec)