Within the nearshore area, three wave transformation domains can be distinguished based on the wave properties: shoaling, surf, and swash zones. The identification of these distinct areas is relevant for understanding nearshore wave propagation properties and physical processes, as these zones can be related, for instance, to different types of sediment transport. This work presents a technique to automatically retrieve the nearshore wave transformation domains from images taken by coastal video monitoring stations. The technique exploits the pixel intensity variation of image acquisitions, and relates the pixel properties to the distinct wave characteristics. This allows the automated description of spatial and temporal extent of shoaling, surf, and swash zones. The methodology was proven to be robust, and capable of spotting the three distinct zones within the nearshore, both cross-shore and along-shore dimensions. The method can support a wide range of coastal studies, such as nearshore hydrodynamics and sediment transport. It can also allow a faster and improved application of existing video-based techniques for wave breaking height and depth-inversion, among others.
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