Forging sustainability

INSHORE - INtegrated System for High Operational REsolution in Shore Monitorisation
Coordinator - Paulo Renato Enes Baganha Baptista
Programme - PTDC/AMB/73169/2006
Execution dates - 2008-01-01 - 2011-04-30 (40 Months)
Funding Entity - Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
Funding for CESAM - 33300 €
Total Funding - 109.909 €
Proponent Institution - Universidade de Aveiro
Participating Institutions
Intituto de Telecomunicações da Universidade de Aveiro
Universidade de Évora
Universidade do Algarve



 In littoral areas the high dynamics present, particularly in those ones where sandy beaches are present, induce significative morphologic changes and frequently conduct to situations in which sedimentary deficiency is evident. As a consequence the beach wide decreases and the foredunes erosion becomes a reality. The knowledge of the processes involved in the littoral dynamic and its interrelations is of fundamental importance to establish proper policy for coastal management, in which the main values are preserved and the risks mitigated. To fulfill this propose it becomes necessary that the coastal managers have access, in a easy way, to all relevant information which presently is still scarce, specially in what concerns to the most important spatial and temporal scales for management (spatial scales of kilometres and temporal scales of years).

The main goal of this project is to develop a low cost and high efficiency monitoring system adequate for sandy beach survey. With this system it is pretended to perform a quasi-continuous spatial morphologic and sedimentary characterisation that occur in the sand beach (foreshore and backshore).

This system is based in the application of the Global Positioning System (GPS) to land vehicles, which already have proved to be a efficient tool to survey the coastal morphologies in sandy beaches (Baptista, 2006). Taken into account the previous experience it will be developed a new prototype, which is characterised by its lower cost and higher versatility. With this system it will be possible a regular monitorisation of coastal stretches with tens of kilometres. It will be also developed another prototype, which allow an automatic textural determination of granulometric changes in sand beach. This prototype is based in a simple autocorrelation algorithm for determining grain size from digital images of sediments obtained from a Charge Couple Devise (CCD) camera.

The developed methodologies will be implemented in the Alentejo coast (SW of Portugal) that is constituted by sandy beaches with different characteristics in what concerns of morphologic and sedimentary features as well as its relation with wave regime. It will be selected a coastal stretch with about 65 kilometre extension, the Troia-Sines littoral ribbon, which will be surveyed along all its extension. After validation, the present methodology can be used in any Portuguese coastal stretch providing a significative contribution for a efficient characterisation of the sandy littorals evolution. A morphodynamic model will be developed from the data obtained during the project course, which will be a useful tool to make possible an effective evaluation of extreme events damage, like storms. This model will be a important framework to quantify the long-term coastal tendencies, by detecting the critical erosion locals and evaluating the coastal risks.

The information provided by the proposed monitoring system will be introduced in a Geographical Information System (SIG) application and will be available to the coastal managers. It is pretended to provide a valuable contribution to implement Integrated Coastal Zone Management policies.

Consultar o site do projecto em:


Baptista, P., (2006). O Sistema de Posicionamento Global aplicado ao estudo de litorais arenosos. PhD thesis. University of Aveiro, 278 p.

Members on this project
Cristina Bernardes
Researcher member

CESAM Funding: