Every hour a picture of the beach

News - 16 June 2022

Six days of storms in a row in the Netherlands, something that never happened before until last February. The number of storms is increasing and wind gusts are getting stronger. In combination with the rising sea level, this calls for innovative ways to protect our country from flooding. A well-known and successful coastal protection experiment is the Sandmotor developed by TU Delft scientists. But it doesn't stop there: to guarantee the safety of the Dutch coast, we need to better understand how sand transport works and how much sand is moved. That is exactly what Sander Vos is working on within the CoastScan programme. With an ultra-precise laser scanner, a scan of the beach is made every hour. This sounds easier than it is; the drifting of sand is often about a few centimetres, so the laser must be very accurate and able to scan even during storms. Within this project, a unique dataset has been created; the largest in Europe. The data collected by the laser scanner were recently published in the open access journal Scientific data of the Nature publishing group. You can read more about the NWO funded research into coastal safety in this recently published article: https://www.nwo.nl/en/cases/building-coastal-protection-nature.