Digital Earth Australia (DEA) Coastlines is a free dataset that includes annual shorelines and rates of coastal change along the entire Australian coastline from 1988 to the present. It combines satellite data from the Digital Earth Australia program with tidal modelling to map the typical location of the Australian coastline at mean sea level for each year.
The tool enables historic trends of coastal erosion and growth to be seen at both a local and continental scale, and the product will be updated regularly as new satellite data is acquired.
The ability to map shoreline positions for each year can provide valuable insights into whether changes to coastline are the result of particular events or actions, or a process of more gradual change over time. This information can enable scientists, policy makers, and land and coast managers to assess impacts from a range of factors affecting our coastlines.
DEA Coastlines covers the entire of Australia’s more than 30,000 kilometres of coast. The tool is accurate to between 10 and 15 metres, and can be as precise as 2.9 metres in certain locations. The product is validated by nearly 58,000 independent measurements of coastline positions around Australia, and was developed with the assistance of local councils, state governments, citizen science projects and academia across the country.
Example: Our changing beaches
The DEA Coastlines image below shows coastal change at Twilight Cove in the Great Australian Bight, Western Australia.
The dataset shows that since 1995, the coastline at Twilight Cove has grown by more than 20 metres per year. It also reveals that as a result of this growth, Twilight Cove beach has increased in width by more than 550 metres since 1988.
See more details about Twilight Cove’s coastal change on DEA Maps here.