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Special Issue "Application of Remote Sensing for the Study of Coastal and Shelf Seas Dynamics"

A special issue of Remote Sensing (ISSN 2072-4292). This special issue belongs to the section "Ocean Remote Sensing".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 February 2024 | Viewed by 1455

Special Issue Editors

Department of Applied Mathematics, Polytechnic School, University of Alicante, 03690 Sant Vicent del Raspeig, Spain
Interests: ocean dynamics;air–sea interaction; extreme events; ocean state indicators; machine learning; Lagrangian dynamics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
CSIC-UIB - Instituto Mediterraneo de Estudios Avanzados (IMEDEA), Esporlas, Spain
Interests: remote sensing; Lagrangian dynamics; interaction physics-biology; ocean circulation
CSIC-UIB - Instituto Mediterraneo de Estudios Avanzados (IMEDEA), Esporlas, Spain
Interests: ocean dynamics; remote sensing; ocean circulation; operational oceanography; ocean waves; Lagrangian dynamics
Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies (IMEDEA), C/ Miquel Marques 21, 07190 Esporles, Spain
Interests: mesoscale and submesoscale; ocean dynamics; in situ and remote sensing observations; biophysical interactions; machine-learning techniques; Lagrangian analysis
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
MIO - Institut Méditerranéen d'Océanologie, Université de Toulon | USTV, UMR 7294, 83130 La Garde, France
Interests: coastal dynamics; wave-current interaction; air-sea interaction; Lagrangian dynamics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Coastal zones and shelf seas are highly dynamic and complex areas featuring diverse physical, biogeochemical, and geological environments, that are subjected to numerous human and ecological drivers. Being a transitional space under anthropic activities, they respond to multiple forces at several spatial and temporal scales, creating scientific challenges that can only be solved if approached from a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary point of view. The current and future questions that have to be addressed include the understanding of the physical, chemical, and biological processes that identify the idiosyncratic nature of the coasts by characterizing the short- and long-term changes of these systems and the specific role of anthropogenic climate change in the process. The main scientific priorities for the upcoming decades are related to the use of the coast as a highly vulnerable resource, maintaining its ecological richness, and preserving its functions. Among these questions, three priorities emerge that embrace most of the research that is currently being done in coastal studies: (i) what are the rates and impacts of sea level rise and global change on coastal morphology?, (ii) how are the coast and estuarine areas affected by natural and anthropic changes? and (iii) what is the role of biodiversity in coastal seas on the resilience of the system? Nearshore monitoring is essential to improve the current understanding of how hydrodynamics interact with morphodynamic processes, a crucial aspect in the context of climate change. Measurement techniques must accommodate the wide range of spatio-temporal scales involved in these processes (e.g., from seconds for turbulence to centennials for climate change in the temporal scale).

This Special Issue invites high-quality and innovative scientific papers using remote sensing observations to study the dynamics of coastal and shelf seas. We welcome studies dealing with modeling approaches, multiplatform observations, and uncertainties assessment (i.e., forecast error, ensemble spread, probability distribution, threshold exceedance, etc.), emphasizing multidisciplinary interactions.

Applied topics

  • Ocean mesoscale and submesoscale dynamics;   
  • Sea level rise;      
  • Fisheries and ecosystems modeling;
  • Coastal impacts and modeling of extreme events;
  • Air–sea interaction processes;
  • Real time coastal observing and monitoring systems.

We are looking forward to your submissions.

Dr. Juan M. Sayol
Dr. Ismael Hernández-Carrasco
Dr. Alejandro Orfila
Dr. Bàrbara Barceló-Llull
Dr. Alejandro Cáceres-Euse
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Remote Sensing is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • remote sensing
  • coastal impacts
  • air–sea interaction
  • ocean currents
  • sea level variability
  • global warming
  • ecosystem dynamics
  • coastal ocean monitoring
  • ocean waves
  • (sub)mesoscale dynamics

Published Papers (2 papers)

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The Influence of Ocean Processes on Fine-Scale Changes in the Yellow Sea Cold Water Mass Boundary Area Structure Based on Acoustic Observations
Remote Sens. 2023, 15(17), 4272; - 31 Aug 2023
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The boundary of Yellow Sea Cold Water Mass (YSCWM) is a key ocean frontal structure influencing the regional ecosystem. Complex oceanic processes such as tidal currents, upwelling, and internal waves influence fine-scale hydrological structures, comprehensively resulting in a significantly highly productive area for [...] Read more.
The boundary of Yellow Sea Cold Water Mass (YSCWM) is a key ocean frontal structure influencing the regional ecosystem. Complex oceanic processes such as tidal currents, upwelling, and internal waves influence fine-scale hydrological structures, comprehensively resulting in a significantly highly productive area for plankton and fisheries. However, detailed research requires inaccessible high-resolution data. To investigate the fine-scale and high-frequency effects of oceanic processes on the local hydrological and ecological environment, we conducted comprehensive cruise acoustic observations and intensive station surveys of the hydrological environment around the YSCWM boundary in summer 2021 and 2022, and found that: (1) fine-scale hydrological structures across the YSCWM boundary were directly captured through this specific intensive station observation design; (2) clear zooplankton diel vertical migration (DVM) phenomena match well with the thermocline variation, showing that acoustics are effective indicators that reflect the water mass layering structure in summer in the YS; and (3) the shear excited by internal waves during propagation and flood tides enhances the upward and downward mixing of the water mass near the thermocline, thus thickening and weakening the layer, an effect that will be more pronounced when both are present at the same time, with ebb tide having the opposite effect. Topographically influenced tidal upwelling also causes significant vertical fluctuations in isotherms. This represents a new way of studying the fine-scale hydrodynamic–hydrologic–ecological aspects of key regions through acoustic remote sensing. Full article
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Modulation of the Marine Environment in the Natal Bight
Remote Sens. 2023, 15(5), 1434; - 03 Mar 2023
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Modulation of the marine environment in the Natal Bight (~29.1°S, 31.6°E) was studied using daily high-resolution climate reanalysis products and monthly satellite green- and red-band reflectance in the period 2002–2022. The KwaZulu-Natal shelf edge is characterized by a narrow band of upwelling next [...] Read more.
Modulation of the marine environment in the Natal Bight (~29.1°S, 31.6°E) was studied using daily high-resolution climate reanalysis products and monthly satellite green- and red-band reflectance in the period 2002–2022. The KwaZulu-Natal shelf edge is characterized by a narrow band of upwelling next to the warm Agulhas Current. Strong, reversing longshore winds ~7 m/s and meandering poleward flow ~1 m/s pulse the system, but along the leeward coast that forms the Natal Bight, environmental conditions are buffered by a weak cyclonic gyre. Wind and current shear create a shadow zone that aggregates plankton, recycles nutrients, and sustains marine resources. The seasonal cycle is of high amplitude: the surface heat balance reaches +70 W/m2 in December, followed by river discharges ~3 M m3/yr of fresh nutrient-rich water that peak in February. This induces a buoyant surface layer that inhibits wind wave turbulence during summer. By contrast, winter (June–August) cooling −95 W/m2 and frequent cyclonic storminess deepen the mixed layer from 25 to 65 m, enabling wind wave turbulence to reach the seafloor (Tugela Bank). Red-band reflectance increases 3-fold from summer to winter and is significantly correlated with net heat balance −0.54, daily wave heights > 2.5 m +0.51, mixed layer depth +0.47, sea surface temp −0.41, and wind vorticity −0.39. Daily longshore winds from the northeast and southwest were, unexpectedly, most amplified in spring (August–October). The seasonality exhibits sequential effects that supports year-round marine nutrification in the Natal Bight. Intra-seasonal fluctuations were related to meandering of the Agulhas Current and changes in longshore winds and shelf waves that impart significant pulsing of near-shore currents at 4–9-day periods. Although the cyclonic gyre in the Natal Bight spins up and down, SST variance was found to be relatively low in its center, where external influences are buffered. Considering linear trends for winds and runoff and surface temperature over the period 1950–2021, we found that northeasterlies increased, runoff decreased, and inshore sea surface temperatures have warmed slowly relative to the adjacent land surface temperature. New insights derive from the use of monthly satellite red-band reflectance and daily 10 km climate reanalysis fields to understand how air–land–sea fluxes modulate the marine environment in the Natal Bight. Full article
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: A Two-step Calibration of the Installation Angle Error between SINS/DVL for Autonomous Underwater Vehicle
Authors: Yongjiang Huang; Xixiang Liu; Qiantong Shao; Xiaoqiang Wu
Affiliation: School of Instrument Science and Engineering, Southeast University, Nanjing 210096, China
Abstract: In autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV), the integrated navigation system that merges the Strap-down Inertial Navigation System (SINS) with the Doppler velocity log (DVL) is widely adopted. Its accuracy is primarily influenced by the installation angle error. Typically, the combination of SINS and DVL is executed through Kalman-like filtering in engineering applications. However, this filtering approach demands a roughly known initial attitude and is sensitive to the initial values of the Kalman state variables. Addressing this, our paper introduces a two-step calibration for both installation angle error and navigation. First, an optimization-based alignment (OBA) is formulated to provide a preliminary estimation of the installation angle error and initial attitude. Throughout the entire OBA calculation process, real-time velocity and position values are needed, which are approximated using their initial values. Then, the estimated values of the installation error angle and initial attitude angle obtained by the OBA method are input into the KF calculation process to obtain real-time navigation results and further complete the precision alignment. Simulations and lake tests have shown that the OBA effectively gauges the alignment error between SINS/DVL, enhancing the navigational efficacy of the KF when used as its initial value.

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