Using citizen science and artificial intelligence we are making precise 3D models of the beach to better understand and plan for erosion and changes to the beach, dune vegetation and turtle nesting.
We seek answers to questions, including:
- Does beach width/slope affect turtle nesting selection/success?
- Is beach erosion accelerating?
- What type of dune vegetation better
The urgent need for research
Our global climate has already changed and warming keeps increasing at unprecedented rates. Future projections forecast that ecosystems and societies across Australia will be significantly affected by impacts such as accelerating sea-level rise and extreme storms.
Understanding complex coastal processes and interactions between land, sea and human communities is of primary concern. We need to learn more and fill the gaps in our understanding of coastal process in this changing climate context.
Our research will directly address the lack of data and improve coastal monitoring to facilitate coastal adaptation to climate change and build resilience against coastal hazards.
Become a citizen scientist
We need your help. We are calling for volunteers to help us by completing four easy steps. Anyone can join the project, and you do not need a science degree or qualification.
1. Collect equipment
Book a Smartphone RTK from a community partner and head to a preferred pre-established beach site.
2. Take photos
Take overlapping photos of the site. Approximately ten minutes are needed to take up to 200 overlapping photos (one photo every one metre/big step) that will cover an area of around 200 square metres.
Coast4D hands-on workshop
Learn more and meet the researchers.
Saturday 6 August 2022 at 10am
Beach access 66, Victory Park, Peregian Beach, Queensland, Australia
3D surveys of the dunes and beach will be repeatedly undertaken (3D + time = 4D monitoring) using overlapping images taken from smartphones by citizen scientists. Smartphones (Android only) will be connected to the ‘Smartphone RTK’ system which consists of a special bracket and a survey-grade GPS antenna. This system allows photos to be precisely located, or ‘geotagged’, to within 2cm.
Short reports will be sent to community partners for their distribution as 3D surveys of different beach sites are produced. For example, after storm events or every couple of months. Reports will include images and beach profile changes such as dune crest retreat, beach volume change and vegetation changes.
At the end of 2023, a public presentation will be organised showcasing the outcomes. Additionally, rawdata (3D and images) will be available upon request.
Dr Javier LeonSenior Lecturer, Physical Geography
Citizen scientists to create 4D beach database
More than 50 citizen scientists have already shown interest in helping a University of the Sunshine Coast researcher build a database of local beaches in a new project funded by the Queensland Government.