Keep watch on coasts from your office chair

Researchers and others can now access coastal shoreline video data and metadata through TERN’s Australian Coastal Ecosystems Facility (ACEF) and the TERN Data Discovery Portal, thanks to a collaboration between ACEF and CoastalCOMS.

The video is available raw or processed from ACEF’s Coastal Research Portal, which also feeds the metadata to the TERN Data Discovery Portal.

The information is available free to anyone for non-commercial purposes, as part of the agreement between CoastalCOMS and ACEF.

The data puts a new tool in the hands of coastal managers that will help them understand the dynamics of coastal systems. With better understanding, they will be able to implement more accurate management practices, a boon in a country like Australia, where 85% of the population lives on or near the coast. Our love of coasts puts great pressure on coastal ecosystems, on top of pre-existing natural pressures such as extreme storms and rising sea levels.

The Deputy Director of ACEF, Mr Jonathan Hodge, said the shoreline monitoring data could be used to improve understanding of the impact of one-off events and to investigate coastal processes over time.

He said the partnership with CoastalCOMS benefited both parties.

‘CoastalCOMS has video data for dozens of sites around the country,’ Jonathan says.

‘We’ve funded two new cameras and we have worked in collaboration to develop a data-download system. They get extra cameras and the data portal infrastructure, and we get access to their technical ability and more data than we’d otherwise have access to.

‘Through our collaboration with them, we’ve been able to dramatically improve others’ access to data on coastal processes.’

Associated analytical and image processing tools developed by CoastalCOMS, such as shoreline position and wave monitoring, can be accessed in addition to the videos. Other clients of CoastalCOMS, such as the Gold Coast City Council, use the data to monitor the state of beaches, and as an aid to assessing changes in beach conditions.


The location of video sites


ACEF Director Dr Andy Steven said the partnership benefited all researchers of coastal interactions.

‘Our portal has greatly improved access to previously disparate coastal datasets dispersed around Australia. The addition of the CoastalCOMS data adds another layer of depth to the tools available through ACEF, and that can only help improve researchers’ understanding of how coastal ecosystems work, and how they respond to climatic events,’ Andy says.

For more information on the Coastal Research Portal contact Mr Jonathan Hodge.

Published in TERN e-Newsletter June 2013

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