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Wireless Sensor Networks for monitoring underwater sediment transport

Watt, A.J., Phillips, M.R., Campbell, C.E-A., Wells, I., Hole, S.
The Science of the total environment 2019 v.667 pp. 160-165
coasts, littoral zone, monitoring, sediment transport, sediments
Monitoring of the coastline and coastal processes, in particular sediment movement, is vital to ensure that erosion response is appropriate given the dynamic nature of coastal systems. This should take place regularly over long periods and it is important that data are collected from submerged portions of the littoral zone, as well as the visible beach. This highlights two limitations in existing coastal monitoring techniques: 1. they require largely manual operation and 2. are limited to the visible beach, which results in an incomplete picture of what is happening in the coastal zone. Due to the current difficulties in gathering data beneath the sea surface, this paper reviews wireless sensor network (WSN) technology as a means to overcome these limitations. Analysis showed that WSNs are a promising technology for coastal monitoring, not only in terms of overcoming limitations, but also in terms of cost, safety, and the size of areas they are able to monitor. Previous work using WSNs in this environment is somewhat limited, especially as most current methods are largely limited to the visible beach, and do not consider submerged areas of the coastal zone. From consideration of the physical environment, geological and geographical processes, and informed by advances in technology, research gaps are identified, discussed and evaluated to provide strategies for implementation of WSNs to monitor sediment transport.