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CoastSense – Intertidal Topographical Monitoring

Understand Where Sea Meets Land

CoastSense – intertidal topographical monitoring

Marlan’s CoastSense systems offer a unique, award-winning solution for cost-effectively monitoring dynamic intertidal zones using shore-based radar remote sensing.

The service

Marlan provides an end-to-end data subscription service that delivers a series of topographical DEMs directly to your desktop. We install and operate innovative shore-based radar survey platforms then apply our cutting-edge data processing algorithms to autonomously produce a stream of 4D survey data that allows you to monitor the coastline in near-real-time without getting your feet wet.

How it works

Marine radar is able to continuously observe the sea surface as the tide rises and falls. By analysing the behaviour of the sea surface across a sequence of radar images, Marlan’s CoastSense survey systems are able to build up a comprehensive topographical map of the intertidal zone using patented technologies.

The solution

Conducting regular hydrographic surveys in complex and dynamic shallow water coastal areas is an incredibly difficult logistical challenge, CoastSense offers the solution.
Deployment of a CoastSense system will rapidly accelerate your understanding of coastal processes in this typically challenging operational environment. Data collection and processing is autonomous and continues 24-7 so that you never miss a storm, allowing clear observation of erosion, accretion and sediment migration – a service no other system can provide.
Near-real-time data allows rapid responses to unexpected changes in weather, morphology or damage caused by storms. These data greatly assist with flood and coastal erosion risk management.

Innovative methodology

This radar-based technology has been developed over several years in partnership with world-leading scientists at the National Oceanography Centre and the University of Liverpool. We continue to work with our academic partners to provide cutting edge data products and continually update our algorithms through on-going R&D, in order to provide the best possible nearshore observation solution.


  • Regular repeat surveys – every spring-neap tidal cycle and before-after storms
  • 4-6 km effective radial range from the radar giving wide area coverage
  • 3 m spatial resolution
  • Vertical accuracy comparable to Airborne LiDAR
  • Pre- and post-storm impact assessment
  • Volumetric sediment displacement assessment


  • Remote, autonomous and continuous data collection
  • Data directly to your inbox
  • Capture pre- and post-storm impacts and subsequent change or recovery
  • Collected data easily combined with other hydrographic data
  • Same system can be used in combination with other CoastSense data services to provide a full nearshore morphological monitoring solution
  • 26 Topographical Surveys per year tells the story of coastal change
  • Monitor the effects of coastal defence construction and performance
  • Annual subscription or optional 3 month trial deployment


  • Allows Quantification of sediment budgets and fluxes delivering cost savings during beach nourishment or dredging campaigns
  • Gain deeper understanding of local coastal processes to make more cost-effective engineering and management decisions
  • Ability to colour in the white ribbon without risking damage to survey vessels or personnel in the dynamic nearshore zone
  • Cost-effective monitoring allowing greater spatial and temporal densities of data to be collected over large areas
  • Greater situational awareness during   survey campaigns, allowing MBES surveys or LiDAR flights to be targeted more cost-effectively at problem areas


get in touch

Every solution begins with a conversation, so please get in touch to find out more about how we can help you.


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