Progress beyond the state of the art

The proposed project will advance the present beach monitoring/management approaches, through the development/application of innovative research techniques that are summarized below.

  • It is envisaged that the construction of a dynamic and user-friendly platform for storing/visualizing environmental and human development information on the Greek beaches will serve as a basis for an urgently-needed inventory of Greek beaches and prove to be an important beach management tool.
  • The development of the integrated Beach Monitoring System (BEMS) which will be able to provide different levels of information to coastal scientists/engineers, beach managers/planners and the wider public, will have a reasonable cost, and can be easily deployed and operated, will represent a clear progress compared to previous systems (e.g. Williams et al., 2007), as both its constituents (e.g. remotely controlled/interactive, spherical video cameras with a 3600 view-field, thermal cameras) and the deployed algorithms will be able to provide improved estimations-forecasts of beach user flow, activities and hazards (e.g. UV exposure, presence of rip currents) and, ultimately, of beach carrying capacity .
  • The synchronous deployment/intercalibration of different, state-of-the-art methodologies and tools (innovative video optical methods, 3-D laser scanner, sets of high frequency Eulerian sensors and satellite images) to obtain field hydrodynamic and morphodynamic information of high spatio-temporal resolution will also advance the state-of-the-art in the diagnosis of beach morphodynamics; it is expected that this approach will produce meta-data which will improve our understanding of beach dynamics/erosion.
  • Robust sediment transport and morphodynamic routines for the surf and swash zones will be combined with an existing state-of-the-art quasi-3D Boussinesq-type hydrodynamic model (e.g. Karambas & Karathanassi, 2004; Johnson & Pattiarachi, 2006). The model will be set up, forced, trained and validated using the comprehensive morphological and hydrodynamic field observations collected within the proposed project (see above) and used for both the diagnosis of beach dynamic processes and the prediction of beach morphodynamics under different scenarios of storm waves/storm surges.
  • The resilience of beaches to erosion (including storm/sea level change effects) will be considered through the use of a Beach Vulnerability Index (BVI) (e.g. Alexandrakis et al., 2011), which will be improved/tested within the framework of the proposed project. In addition, it is envisaged that the methodologies that will be used to evaluate beach assets and the costs/benefits of present practices in beach monitoring, forecasting and management will also improve the present state-of-the-art