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Web-GIS platform for integrated coastal environmental monitoring

4 Minutes Read
Dimitris Sykas
Planetek Hellas
Dimitris Biliouris
Planetek Hellas
Stelios Bollanos
Planetek Hellas

A system integrator in Greece develops an Integrated Coastal Environmental Monitoring Platform for the public authorities to monitor water quality and the coastal environmental changes in high valued areas.


The coastal environment monitoring is an essential need and a high valued product, especially in touristic areas. It consists of monitoring land and sea features concerning environmental aspects of the region of interest. The European legislation demands the monitoring of the water quality and the coastal environmental changes in high valued areas (touristic, industrial, urban areas). Parameters being monitored include land-use (especially in protected areas) alterations, coastal erosion, and posidonia oceanica mapping.

Due to the European legislation, public authorities need a cost efficient tool to monitor all the requested phenomena. In the framework of the collaborative research project ACRITAS and the si-cluster (Hellenic Space Cluster), Planetek Hellas develops the Integrated Coastal Environmental Monitoring Platform for the public authorities of the Ionian Water Direction (Decentralized Administration of Peloponese, Western Greece, Ionian) and the Special Secretariat for Water (Hellenic Ministry for the Environment, Energy & Climate Change).

The developed platform can also help other end-users to make informative decisions. The main possible end-users are the public sector state and local authorities, Coastal Municipalities, NATURA2000 protection agencies, Port Authorities, Water Agencies, Tourism Development Agencies, but also private sector users such as environmental companies/NGOs, insurance companies, real estate agencies, as well as international organisations such as EEA. The ICEMP objectives multiple and can be summarised as following:

  • Map and monitor the water quality of coastal waters
  • Map and detect changes in the land-use of coastal land areas
  • Monitor protected areas, such as NATURA 2000
  • Posidonia Oceanica Mapping
  • Coastline monitoring

How ICEMP works

Planetek Hellas has developed an integrated approach to process and fuse multiple data-sources combining them under a WEBGIS platform in order to produce INSPIRE compliant products and services (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Integrated Coastal Environmental Monitoring Approach

The ICEMP is divided into two main parts. The first part is the Water Quality Mapping Module (WQMM) and the second is the Coastal Phenomena Mapping Module (CPMM). In WQMM low resolution water quality data products (MODIS) are fused with either medium resolution (Landsat) or high resolution (Pleiades) sensors using a “home-made” automatic process (Figure 1) and produce higher spatial resolution water quality products. The resolution, spatial or temporal, of the final product depends on the user’s needs.

In the CPMM, the types of information monitored are based on the user’s needs. Analytical results of land-use, coastal erosion, posidonia maps etc., will be included in the final product after extensive collaboration with the users. Planetek Hellas has developed a standard modular GIS and Remote Sensing workflow in order to produce the environmental maps compatible to the user’s needs.

The Corfu Case Study

The presented case study of ICEMP is from Corfu, an Ionian Greek Island, since the end-users are two public entities with jurisdiction in the area. The land-use mapping is used to inform the user about the pressure of the urban activities in the coast (Figure 2).

Figure 2: Coastal land-use mapping for urban pressure characterisation

Part of the ICEMP workflow is the coastline monitoring due to erosion or human intervention. ICEMP was used to study the touristic industry influence at the coastline in Corfu (Figure 3). It was concluded that in most cases the coastline was moving towards the sea, while the urban net covered the resulting gap.

Figure 3: Coastline Monitoring

Figure 4 illustrates a Posidonia Oceanica map of a coast of Corfu applying the classification scheme of ICEMP using as input the very high resolution Pleiades images.

Figure 4: Posidonia Oceanica Mapping

Finally Figure 5 presents the water quality monitoring of Greece in 1 Km resolution using MODIS images and the corresponding very high resolution map for the specific case study in Corfu using the “home-made” data fusion algorithm.

Figure 5: Water Quality Map of Greece and part of the coast of Corfu, Layer Chlorophyll concentration