Analysis of multi-temporal shoreline changes due to a harbor using remote sensing data and GIS techniques

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Zoysa, Sanjana, Basnayake, Vindhya ORCID: 0000-0001-9310-6741, Samarasinghe, Jayanga T ORCID: 0000-0001-8491-0092, Gunathilake, Miyuru B ORCID: 0000-0001-7052-1942, Kantamaneni, Komali ORCID: 0000-0002-3852-4374, Muttil, Nitin ORCID: 0000-0001-7758-8365, Pawar, Uttam ORCID: 0000-0003-1217-481X and Rathnayake, Upaka ORCID: 0000-0002-7341-9078 (2023) Analysis of multi-temporal shoreline changes due to a harbor using remote sensing data and GIS techniques. Sustainability (Switzerland), 15 (9). ISSN 2071-1050


Coastal landforms are continuously shaped by natural and human-induced forces, exacerbating the associated coastal hazards and risks. Changes in the shoreline are a critical concern for sustainable coastal zone management. However, a limited amount of research has been carried out on the coastal belt of Sri Lanka. Thus, this study investigates the spatiotemporal evolution of the shoreline dynamics on the Oluvil coastline in the Ampara district in Sri Lanka for a two-decade period from 1991 to 2021, where the economically significant Oluvil Harbor exists by utilizing remote sensing and geographic information system (GIS) techniques. Shorelines for each year were delineated using Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper (TM), Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+), and Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager images. The Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI) was applied as a spectral value index approach to differentiate land masses from water bodies. Subsequently, the Digital Shoreline Analysis System (DSAS) tool was used to assess shoreline changes, including Shoreline Change Envelope (SCE), Net Shoreline Movement (NSM), End Point Rate (EPR), and Linear Regression Rate (LRR). The results reveal that the Oluvil coast has undergone both accretion and erosion over the years, primarily due to harbor construction. The highest SCE values were calculated within the Oluvil harbor region, reaching 523.8 m. The highest NSM ranges were recorded as −317.1 to −81.3 m in the Oluvil area and 156.3–317.5 m in the harbor and its closest point in the southern direction. The maximum rate of EPR was observed to range from 3 m/year to 10.7 m/year towards the south of the harbor, and from −10.7 m/year to −3.0 m/year towards the north of the harbor. The results of the LRR analysis revealed that the rates of erosion anomaly range from −3 m/year to −10 m/year towards the north of the harbor, while the beach advances at a rate of 3 m/year to 14.3 m/year towards the south of the harbor. The study area has undergone erosion of 40 ha and accretion of 84.44 ha. These findings can serve as valuable input data for sustainable coastal zone management along the Oluvil coast in Sri Lanka, safeguarding the coastal habitats by mitigating further anthropogenic vulnerabilities.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.3390/su15097651
Official URL
Subjects Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 4005 Civil engineering
Current > Division/Research > College of Science and Engineering
Current > Division/Research > Institute for Sustainable Industries and Liveable Cities
Keywords coastal land forms, geographic information systems, coastal environments, shoreline change, Sri Lanka, Oluvil Harbor
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