Monitoring dune response to the East Coast storm surge of 2013 using laser scanning and SfM photogrammetry

On 5 December 2013, the UK coastline experienced one of the biggest storm surges on record. This storm caused substantial coastal erosion, particularly along the North Sea coast where the southwards travelling surge was heightened by funnelling between the European mainland and the East Coast of England. This paper focuses on a field site located north of Mablethorpe on the Lincolnshire coast (53°21’43”N 0°15’03”E) which has undergone long-term (1891-2010) accretion of, on average, 2m yr-1 (Montreuil and Bullard, 2012). Prior to the 5 December storm event, well-developed coastal foredunes were present with primary foredunes up to 3.5m ODN and secondary (inland) dunes up to 7m high. The storm surge eroded the dunes laterally by up to 20m, creating a vertical scarp face up to 2m high. Provided there are no further storm surges, is expected that the dune system will gradually recover and the scarp will eventually be infilled. The overall aim of this research project is to combine high resolution topographic and environmental data to quantify the rate and nature of post-storm coastal recovery at this site. This paper draws upon this project to highlight how modern geomatic methods can be used for detailed monitoring of coastal phenomena at close range. These methods include both terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) and close range digital photogrammetry, which incorporates the very latest structure from motion (SfM) techniques.