Deliberate flooding surveyed by UAV


​The Gyldensteen Beach project area, which will be flooded in 2014

​In 2014, Gyldensteen Beach in northern Fyn will be flooded deliberately. UAVs, managed by COWI, will be applied to obtain information about the consequences of this action.

​The rising sea level constitutes a threat that may also affect Denmark, and we should therefore prepare for future flooding scenarios. In connection with an Aage V. Jensen-funded nature restoration project, in which the Gyldensteen Beach will be flooded deliberately, researchers from the University of Southern Denmark are given the opportunity to explore the consequences of sea water flooding Danish coastal areas. 


UAV technology ideal for detailed surveillance of coastal areas

While the research is focused on changes happening on the ground, the data collection will be carried out from the air. By applying a simple object like the UAV it is possible to gain access to the biological and geological data required for the research.

Since 2012, COWI has benefitted from the UAV technology in many different nature projects, for example when mapping the occurrence of "wrinkled rose" along the western coast of Denmark and of forest areas devastated by the hurricane "Bodil".

According to Jesper Falk from COWI: "The UAV technology is ideal for these kinds of projects as it is possible to obtain high resolution overview photos, showing even small details on the ground, for a decent amount of money".

By using special cameras for aerial photography, attached to a UAV, it is possible to measure the precise height ratios in the Gyldensteen Beach areas. This provides important knowledge about the seabed and how it is expected to look in the wake of the flooding. The UAV overflight will be conducted once every year, with the objective to create an overview of the gradual changes of the area.

Inspiration for coastal improvement globally  

The Gyldensteen project, in which a lagoon is being established, is a good example of how a UAV can be useful in collecting detailed data from large areas.

Globally, lagoons are important as they withhold carbons. When parts of the organic plant material is buried permanently at the bottom of the lagoon, the carbons, and hence also the carbon dioxides, are being withheld. The carbon dioxides would otherwise be released and contribute to the increased global warming.

The lagoon project at the Gyldensteen Beach is expected to end in 2021, and the researchers from the University of Southern Denmark are planning to conduct UAV overflights annually. 

LAST UPDATED: 24.03.2017