Tuesday, 01 February 2011 08:49
Engineers at OSU have created a new type of “stereo vision” to use in studying ocean waves as they pound against the shore. The research provides prospects for a better way to understand and monitor the violent, ever-changing shoreline environment.
Two video cameras feed data into an advanced computer system, and can observe large areas of ocean waves in real time and help explain what they are doing and why, scientists say.
From the release:
The system may be of particular value as climate change and rising sea levels pose additional challenges to vulnerable shorelines around the world, threatened by coastal erosion. The technology should be comparatively simple and inexpensive to implement.
“An ocean wave crashing on shore is actually the end of a long story that usually begins thousands of miles away, formed by wind and storms,” said David Hill, an associate professor of coastal and ocean engineering at Oregon State University. “We’re trying to achieve with cameras and a computer what human eyes and the brain do automatically – see the way that near-shore waves grow, change direction and collapse as they move over a seafloor that changes depth constantly.”
This is the first attempt to use stereo optical imaging in a marine field setting on such a large scale, Hill said, and offers the potential to provide a constant and scientifically accurate understanding of what is going on in the surf zone. It’s also a form of remote sensing that doesn’t require placement of instruments in the pounding surf environment.
For more, please read the original release at oregonstate.edu