Next Article in Journal
Remote Sensing of Wildfire Using a Small Unmanned Aerial System: Post-Fire Mapping, Vegetation Recovery and Damage Analysis in Grand Bay, Mississippi/Alabama, USA
Next Article in Special Issue
Assessing Reef-Island Shoreline Change Using UAV-Derived Orthomosaics and Digital Surface Models
Previous Article in Journal
Fright or Flight? Behavioural Responses of Kangaroos to Drone-Based Monitoring
Previous Article in Special Issue
Reef Rover: A Low-Cost Small Autonomous Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV) for Mapping and Monitoring Coral Reefs
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle

Morphological Exposure of Rocky Platforms: Filling the Hazard Gap Using UAVs

School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Deakin University, Burwood, VIC 3125, Australia
School of Earth, Atmospheric and Life Sciences, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Drones 2019, 3(2), 42;
Received: 3 April 2019 / Revised: 29 April 2019 / Accepted: 30 April 2019 / Published: 3 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drones for Coastal Environments)
PDF [10940 KB, uploaded 3 May 2019]


Rock platforms are dangerous environments commonly subject to high wave energy on the open coast. Platform morphology is central to understanding what makes one stretch of coastline more hazardous than another, and it can be used to create site-specific morphological exposure hazard indices to assess the relative risk of being washed into the sea, assisting coastal managers in an effort to reduce the number of injuries and drowning incidents. This paper describes the use of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to derive morphological parameters for two data-poor rock platforms along the Illawarra coast of southern New South Wales, to fill the gap using an easily replicable site-specific hazard index, developed previously, that can be applied to other microtidal wave-dominated settings. The approach is based on the subdivision of the terrestrial seaward edge of platforms into segments, classified according to mean elevation, orientation and edge type, to model different weighting scenarios of predominant southeasterly and northeasterly wave direction. UAV-derived results were deemed satisfactory for all study sites, and a comparison of results derived from LiDAR for two platforms suggested that UAV data can be successfully used to guide risk policy on rock coasts, despite differences in the delimitation of the seaward edge due to tidal level during survey acquisition. View Full-Text
Keywords: fisher drownings; rock fishing; water safety; platform morphology; hazard index; drones; Illawarra fisher drownings; rock fishing; water safety; platform morphology; hazard index; drones; Illawarra

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Carvalho, R.C.; Woodroffe, C.D. Morphological Exposure of Rocky Platforms: Filling the Hazard Gap Using UAVs. Drones 2019, 3, 42.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Drones EISSN 2504-446X Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top