Coastal landscapes are heterogeneous, dynamic, and evolve over a range of time scales due to intertwined climatic, geologic, hydrologic, biologic, and meteorological processes, and are also heavily impacted by human development, commercial activities, and resource extraction. A diversity of complex coastal systems around the globe, spanning glaciated shorelines to tropical atolls, wetlands, and barrier islands are responding to multiple human and natural drivers. Interdisciplinary research based on remote-sensing observations linked to process studies and models is required to understand coastal ecosystem landscape structure and change. Moreover, new techniques for coastal mapping and monitoring are increasingly serving the needs of policy-makers and resource managers across local, regional, and national scales. Emerging remote-sensing methods associated with a diversity of instruments and platforms are a key enabling element of integrated coastal ecosystem studies. These investigations require both targeted and synoptic mapping, and involve the monitoring of formative processes such as hydrodynamics, sediment transport, erosion, accretion, flooding, habitat modification, land-cover change, and biogeochemical fluxes.
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Emerging methods for the study of coastal ecosystem landscape structure and change