Shifting nature of sands and tides make it difficult to measure accurately the amount of beach that’s available for recreation, development and conservation, but a team of University of Georgia researchers has combined several remote sensing technologies with historical data to create coastal maps with an unsurpassed level of accuracy.
In a study published in the journal Tourism Management, the researchers applied their technique to Georgia’s Jekyll Island and unveiled a new website that allows developers, conservationists and tourists access to maps and data on beach availability, tidal ranges and erosion.
By combining the sources of remote sensing data with historical shoreline maps dating to 1857, the scientists created detailed maps that precisely delineate the boundary between the ocean and the land. Historical tidal data were used to create models of how Jekyll Island would fare under various calculations of sea-level rise and under tropical storm and hurricane storm surge conditions.
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