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Building with Nature Guideline > Toolbox > Monitoring > Remote monitoring of bio -and morphological developments - ArgusBio

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Remote monitoring of bio -and morphological developments (ArgusBio)

Type: Hardware and Software

Project Phase: Planning and Design, Construction, Operation and Maintenance

Purpose: Remote and continuous monitoring of intertidal flats (morphology, flora and fauna)

Requirements: Installation of monitoring stations, processing of geo-referenced images

Relevant Software: Delft 3D-Suite, contact Deltares for use of automated algorithms



Monitoring the morphological and biological developments of intertidal areas is crucial to understand the functioning of the biogeomorphological system and effectively manage this system. This applies to both short- and long-term management (months to years vs. years to decades) to assess the direct impacts of interventions (eg. nourishments, structures), as well as to assess coastal safety and comply with regulations (eg. EU Bird/ and Habitats Directive) over time. The ArgusBio monitoring stations provide the possibility for remote and continuous monitoring in form of geo-referenced JPEG-images taken by different types of cameras. Traditionally, monitoring requires regular visits of project sites in order to assess e.g. changes in bed level, the number of birds, or the (re)colonisation by benthic animals and vegetation. Most tidal flats however, are difficult to access and therefore expensive to visit, especially in averse weather conditions. Consequently, the monitoring frequency may be too low to capture the relevant dynamics of the system. Additionally, field monitoring methods tend to focus on one system component at a time, i.e. birds are counted at a different time than benthos is sampled or the bathymetry is measured. This makes it more difficult to interpret the data in terms of relations between these components. As an alternative, remotely controlled and continuously operating monitoring systems can provide valuable, comprehensive and high-resolution information about the development of intertidal areas.

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How to Use

An ArgusBio monitoring station can be used at various locations: coasts, bays, estuaries and rivers. The area that can be monitored by one station depends on the quality of the cameras, the required level of detail (i.e. the features under observation) and the height of the observation post. An ArgusBio station can be used for monitoring before, during and after construction activities, or for long-term monitoring.

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Practical Applications

The data produced by ArgusBio are essentially geo-referenced JPEG-pictures (or movies). Interpretation of this data requires substantial human effort, or algorithms for automated recognition. Algorithms for automated data processing and analysis existed for bathymetric monitoring, but not for monitoring birds, macrofauna or algae. Therefore, the following tools were developed:

  1. Morphology
  2. Birds
  3. Macroalgae and microphytobenthos (diatoms)

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