Hundreds of satellite images spanning 30 years have been compiled to show the evolution of the Danube Delta – the second largest river delta in Europe.
These findings were presented today at ESA’s Living Planet Symposium taking place this week in Bonn, Germany.

Coastal areas have been subjected to intense urbanisation and population growth, and most affected are low-lying areas such as deltas.

Deemed a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the Danube Delta is one of the most important ecosystems of its kind and, like many other deltaic areas across the globe, has seen its share of human pressure over the past decades. Reduced sediment inputs in coastal areas have led to an increased fragility and expansion of erosion which need to be carefully monitored.

The Space for Shore project, funded by ESA, provides a variety of tools for monitoring coastal erosion using Earth observation products. The consortium is composed of technical experts from five European countries. During the first phase of the project, one of the key areas of interest was investigating the Danube Delta wetland and its coastline.

Terrasigna, in collaboration with the Sfântu Gheorghe Marine and Fluvial Research Station, processed and analysed more than 200 individual satellite images – including data from the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission and the US Landsat 5 and Landsat 8 missions.

This long time-series covered a period of 30 years, spanning from 1990 until 2020, and extended over 130 km of coastline.

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