Environmental Strain on Beach Environments Retrieved and Monitored by Spaceborne Synthetic Aperture Radar

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Environmental effects and climate change are lately representing an increasing strain on coastal areas, whose topography strongly depends on these conditions. However, the processes by which weather and environmental phenomena influence the highly variable beach morphology are still unknown. Continuous monitoring of the beach environment is necessary to implement protection strategies. This paper presents the results of an innovative study performed on a coastal area using satellite remote sensing data with the aim of understanding how environmental phenomena affect beaches. Two years of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) Sentinel-1 images are used over a test area in Noordwijk, the Netherlands. At the same time as the SAR acquisitions, information on tidal and weather conditions are collected and integrated from nearby meteorological stations. Dedicated codes are implemented in order to understand the relationship between the SAR amplitude and the considered phenomena: wind, precipitation, and tidal conditions. Surface roughness is taken into account. The results indicate a strong correlation between the amplitude and the wind. No particular correlation or trend could be noticed in the relationship with precipitation. The analysis of the amplitude also shows a decreasing trend moving from the dry area of the beach towards the sea and the correlation coefficient between the amplitude and the tide level gets negative with the increase of the water content.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4208
Number of pages19
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • SAR
  • Sentinel-1
  • amplitude
  • beach environment
  • weather conditions


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