Developing a remote sensing system based on X-band radar technology for coastal morphodynamics study
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Navarro Ariza, Wendy Paola
New data processing techniques are proposed for the assessment of scopes and limitations from radar-derived sea state parameters, coastline evolution and water depth estimates. Most of the raised research is focused on Colombian Caribbean coast and the Western Mediterranean Sea. First, a novel procedure to mitigate shadowing in radar images is proposed. The method compensates distortions introduced by the radar acquisition process and the power decay of the radar signal along range applying image enhancement techniques through a couple of pre-processing steps based on filtering and interpolation. Results reveal that the proposed methodology reproduces with high accuracy the sea state parameters in nearshore areas. The improvement resulting from the proposed method is assessed in a coral reef barrier, introducing a completely novel use for X-Band radar in coastal environments. So far, wave energy dissipation on a coral reef barrier has been studied by a few in-situ sensors placed in a straight line, perpendicular to the coastline, but never been described using marine radars. In this context, marine radar images are used to describe prominent features of coral reefs, including the delineation of reef morphological structure, wave energy dissipation and wave transformation processes in the lagoon of San Andres Island barrier-reef system. Results show that reef attenuates incident waves by approximately 75% due to both frictional and wave breaking dissipation, with an equivalent bottom roughness of 0.20 m and a wave friction factor of 0.18. These parameters are comparable with estimates reported in other shallow coral reef lagoons as well as at meadow canopies, obtained using in-situ measurements of wave parameters.