Coastal Monitoring & Mapping

As development and population pressures on our coastlines grow, there is a need for better monitoring and mapping to determine impacts and to inform predictive modelling and responses.

Coastal zones are hydrographically and topographically complex, across both space and time. As we move from offshore to coastal regions, the issues tend to get finer in scale. But coastal zones often lack the comparable datasets that exist for the more open oceans.

We need to better understand the sources of nutrients, pathogens, biological organisms (often from land sources) and their movement, transformation and growth to better inform potential remediation and management. And we need to understand and monitor coastal regions at a finer scale.

Our science challenges include:

  • Mapping coastal zones in environments such as optically deep waters, shallow turbid waters, and data sparse environments
  • Monitoring and mapping coastal regions at the resolution required by models
  • Instrumenting a system to provide observations that real-time models require, recognising the dynamics of the coastal environment
  • Handling of streams of data to investigate impacts and to provide information for the models
  • Extrapolating observations from the local to the broader context
  • Taking genomics based environmental monitoring to the operational level

Population growth, urbanisation, coastal catchment development and climate change are testing the resilience of our coastal habitats. Our research is providing reliable, long-term, and real-time data collection at a range of different scales, from the molecular scale to views from space, to help with effective management of our coastal environments.

Related Research

Capability Profile

  • National-scale observations (domestic and international)
  • Integration between Earth observations, field observations and models
  • Process studies (for parameterization and simulation of coastal processes, including greenhouse gas fluxes and carbon, nutrient and sediment dynamics)
  • In situ sensor development
  • Autonomous and controlled platforms, including Buoys, ROV, AUV, mobile analytical labs, automated genomics samplers
  • Suite of field instrumentation for physical, chemical, biological observations
  • Genomics observations, from sample to ecosystem structure/from sample to detection/quantification of specific target taxa
  • Transcriptomics observations

Key Contact

Domain Leader – Coastal Monitoring & Mapping, CSIRO Environment