Coastal morphology, natural hazards, and image analysis


Chris Sherwood

The USGS conducts research to assess natural hazards to coastal regions. Recent tools include unmanned aerial systems (drones) and multi-view photogrammetry (also known as structure from motion). We use these tools to make super-high resolution maps of beaches, dunes, and wetlands. In turn, these maps are used to evaluate susceptibility to storms, and as input into numerical models of morphological evolution and coastal erosion. Summer students have the opportunity to choose from a number of related topics using data from local beaches and wetlands. These include analysis of images using structure from motion and/or neural networks, analysis of oceanographic data (waves, currents, water levels) and their relation to coastal changes, or running and evaluation of numerical models for waves, sediment movement, and morphological change. Enthusiasm for GIS and coding (Matlab, Python) is necessary, but extensive experience with those tools is not.

USGS Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center