Spring Virtual Conference
Thanks to Ms. Laymon's class at Seaside High School and Alex Hofsteen from International School of Monterey for joining us with Dr. Orescanin to wrap up the field season and see some initial results. Thanks so much to participating teachers and students (listed below), to Professor Mara Orescanin of NPS, and her field assistants Paul Jessen, LCDR Ka Xiong, and LCDR Jason Dawson for a great experience. Here is a 14 minute "best of" clip of field results and context:
With the imminent threat of rising sea levels, more frequent storms, and increased population close to the coast, understanding and monitoring coastal change is critical. Change at coastal environments and their surrounding waters is notoriously difficult to predict during extreme events owing to the inherent dependence on prediction uncertainty of the extreme event (location, intensity). Specifically, extreme events on littoral systems have the possibility of creating unexpected cuts across the barrier beach system, called beach breaching. Breaching immediately alters the circulation of water, as well as parameters contained within the water such as sediment, salt, oil, and other pollutants. In addition, breaching can affect coastal infrastructure near the breach site.
Changing Beaches Challenge will contribute to an active research project that seeks to develop generally applicable AI methods that can detect coastal change based on imagery obtained by UAVs. The focus of studies will be on the Carmel River State Beach to develop and test these methods and train a neural net to quantify changes during the breach process. Prior to the breach (expected in the Fall / Winter), GPS surveys of the beach topography and lagoon bathymetry will be collected, in conjunction with aerial surveys. The river will be frequently monitored to catch the breach event and catalog morphological changes. Each survey will generate a digital elevation model (DEM) – a 3D representation of the area – one before and one after breach, that will used to quantify these changes.