Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation

Monitoring the topography of intertidal environments using remote sensing techniques in the framework of SWOT mission

Abstract : Intertidal flats provide essential services including protection against storm surges and coastal flooding.These environments are characterized by a continuous redistribution of sediments and topographic changes.They are under increasing pressure due to anthropogenic activities and sea level rise. The continuous monitoring of their topography is fundamental for hydrodynamic and morphodynamic modeling of coastal systems. Intertidal flats are among the most logistically challenging coastal landforms for ground-based and airborne-based topography monitoring. Spaceborne-based monitoring is the only viable and the mostcost-effective approach capable of providing regularly intertidal topography maps. Recent developments in radar (altimetry and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR)) and optical technologies, bring new types of data and enhanced capacities for monitoring intertidal environments. This PhD dissertation investigates the use of spaceborne-based methods for monitoring the topography in intertidal areas using radar altimetry, SAR, and multispectral satellite observations. The main objective is to explore, develop, or enhance methods dedicated for intertidal topography mapping. Being a part of the preparation phase of the future SWOT (Surface Water and Ocean Topography) radar altimetry mission, first mission to operate in wide-swath SAR interferometrymode, this PhD dissertation also investigates the capability of SWOT to map intertidal topography. Methodologies developed or/and used in this thesis were applied to two intertidal environments located on the French Coast: The Arcachon Bay and the Bay of Veys. We showed, for the first time, that recent advancements in technologies enabled satellite radar altimetry to extract intertidal topography profiles along the altimeters ground tracks. Second, we introduced an improved and quasi-automatic approach for the use of the waterline method (most common method for intertidal topography mapping) to derive intertidalDigital Elevation Models (DEMs). The changes include faster, more efficient and quasi-automatic detection and post-processing of waterlines. We also brought to light the ability of SWOT to generate highly accurate intertidal DEMs using the waterline method. The methodologies used here allow the generation of intertidal topography measurements regularly, that with careful usage, can be used for detecting topographic changes in intertidal environments. We showed that the two study areas eroded during 2016-2018, losing 1,12 × 106 m3 and 0,70 × 106 m3 for the Arcachon Bay and the Bay of Veys respectively. Updated DEMs provide useful and needed information for several scientific applications (e.g., sediment balance, hydrodynamic modelling), but also for authorities and stakeholders for coastal management and implementation of ecosystem protectionpolicies.
Document type :
Complete list of metadata
Contributor : Abes Star :  Contact
Submitted on : Wednesday, July 21, 2021 - 11:58:13 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, September 7, 2021 - 11:48:09 AM


Version validated by the jury (STAR)


  • HAL Id : tel-03295350, version 1


Edward Salameh. Monitoring the topography of intertidal environments using remote sensing techniques in the framework of SWOT mission. Earth Sciences. Normandie Université, 2020. English. ⟨NNT : 2020NORMR040⟩. ⟨tel-03295350⟩



Record views


Files downloads