New technology allows scientists to map beaches without getting their feet wet

LIVERPOOL — Mapping beaches and sandbanks will no longer require scientists and agency officials to enter ocean waters thanks to new mapping technology created by the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) and Marlan Maritime Technologies.

The new radar-based technology enables high-resolution, low-cost remote mapping of the intertidal zone continuously and over a long period of time – all without the need to wade into the water with a measuring stick.

“An important part of the mission of the NOC is to turn great science into great innovation, supporting UK businesses. This technology will significantly drive down the cost of mapping the intertidal zone with important benefits for the many users of the marine environment,” said Ed Hill, executive director of the NOC.

Understanding how beach sediment is influenced by coastal protection measures can benefit coastal town planning by monitoring area at greater risk of coastal flooding, and provide warning of sediment transport into navigation channels allowing more effective use of survey and dredging vessels, according to NOC.

“Working with NOC and the University of Liverpool for several years has been great and we are thrilled that the efforts of those involved have produced a genuinely beneficial service that is in demand by the maritime community,” said Alex Sinclair, managing director of Marlan Maritime Technologies Ltd. “Protecting our coastal environment is important to us and this technology will make a real difference, not only around Liverpool but around the world.”

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