Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date




Publication Title

Estuary Research - Recent Advances




Estuarine shorelines face the threats of accelerating sea-level rise, recurrent storms, and disruptions of natural sediment and ecological adjustments owing to historic human interventions. The growing availability and technical capability of uncrewed systems (UxS), including remote or autonomous aerial and surface vessels, provide new opportunities to study and understand estuarine shoreline changes. This chapter assesses the state of the technology, interdisciplinary science and engineering literature, and presents case studies from the Chesapeake Bay, Virginia, and coastal North Carolina, USA, that demonstrate new insights into coastal geomorphic processes and applications to managing complex and dynamic estuarine shorelines. These technologies enhance the collection of geospatial environmental data, coastal monitoring, reduce spatial uncertainty, and support measurement of alongshore and onshore/offshore sediment fluxes. Case studies in this chapter highlight scientific insights such as shoreline responses to sea-level rise as well as the practical value of these technologies to develop adaptive management solutions such as living shorelines and nature-based features.


© 2023 The Authors.

This chapter is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0) License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Original Publication Citation

Allen, T. R., Eulie, D., Polk, M., McLeod, G., Stuart, R., & Garnand, A. (2023). Advancing estuarine shoreline change analysis using small uncrewed autonomous systems. In A. J. Manning (Ed.), Estuary Research - Recent Advances (pp. 1-29). IntechOpen.