Analysing decadal-scale crescentic bar dynamics using satellite imagery: A case study at Anmok beach, South Korea

Panagiotis Athanasiou*, Wiebe de Boer, Jeseon Yoo, Roshanka Ranasinghe, Ad Reniers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
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Understanding long-term sandbar dynamics can be crucial for informed coastal zone management, but is often hampered by data availability. To increase the number of sandbar observations available from bathymetric surveys, this study proposes and evaluates a method to manually extract the sandbar location using freely available satellite imagery for the case study of Anmok beach in South Korea. Validation of the satellite extracted sandbar locations against 9 in-situ measurements shows good agreement with errors well within the pixel resolution of the satellite imagery (i.e. 30 m for Landsat missions). The applicability of the method is constrained to locations where (1) the cross-shore crescentic length scales are larger than the image resolution, (2) frequent wave breaking and clouds are absent and (3) the water clarity is sufficient to enable the manual extraction of the sandbar crest line. Using the additional sandbar observations from the satellite imagery significantly increases the temporal extent and resolution of the dataset for Anmok beach. This allows the study of sandbar characteristics, dynamics and impacts of human interventions to an extent that would not have been possible without the satellite imagery. Within the study period 1990–2017 it is found that the sandbar maintains a persistent crescentic pattern that is only altered during prolonged and very intense storm conditions. The cumulative alongshore migration of the sandbars is investigated and found to be in the order of hundreds of meters over the 27 years study period. Comparing the sandbar characteristics prior and after the construction of Gangneung port shows that both the amplitudes and wavelengths of the sandbar crescents near the port have decreased after its construction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalMarine geology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018


  • Anmok beach
  • Crescentic sandbars
  • Human interventions
  • Sandbar dynamics
  • Satellite imagery
  • n/a OA procedure


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