Monitoring Coastal Morphology Using Astronaut Photography

This is a guest post from Amy Jagge, Image Data Scientist, and part of our Johnson Space Center (JSC) Image Detective Science Team

More than 63 million people in the southern and eastern United States live near coastlines (National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration. National Coastal Population Report; Population Trends from 1970 to 2020). Include the estimated global population living in coastal communities and the previous number grows significantly.

Astronaut Photograph (ISS023-E-026756, 04/22/2010, 800mm) of Venezuela. Credit: NASA

Earth’s coastal shorelines offer beauty and economic activity, but they can also act as defensive barriers protecting communities from flooding caused by hurricanes. Astronaut photography used together with other sources of remotely sensed data can provide a time-series of scientific data to scientists researching and monitoring coastal shorelines. The scientific research on coastal shorelines helps emergency management and community planners assess and mitigate a community’s vulnerability to natural disasters, such as hurricanes.

NASA’s publically accessible Astronaut Photography of Earth database made available through the Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth website (eol.jsc.nasa.gov) curated by the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit at the Johnson Space Center houses over 2 million images taken by astronauts from space.

With CosmoQuest’s Image Detective 2.0 tool, Citizen Scientists around the world have the opportunity to enhance NASA’s Astronaut Photography of Earth database by identifying the center point location of astronaut photos. With center point locations, scientists can quickly search and download the scientific data they need.

Go to CosmoQuest’s Image Detective 2.0 to identify the center point of astronaut photographs such as the one below, and advance scientific research by enhancing NASA’s Astronaut Photography of Earth database!

References:
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. National Coastal Population Report; Population Trends from 1970 to 2020. By Holly Bamford. Available at: https://aamboceanservice.blob.core.windows.net/oceanservice-prod/facts/coastal-population-report.pdf. Accessed: 01/09/2018.

About ajagge

Amy Jagge is an Image Data Scientist, and part of our Johnson Space Center (JSC) Image Detective Science Team

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