Tuesday, January 27, 2009

DM presents paper on coastal zone monitoring programme

Dubai, 27 January 2009: Dubai Municipality has presented a paper on the Coastal Zone Monitoring Programme along Dubai Coast in the Environment Conference 2009 which has been held recently in the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre under the theme "Towards a Sustainable Coastal Environment."

The paper was prepared by Eng. Alya Al Harmoudi, Head of Coastal Zone and Waterways Management Section at the Environment Department, under the title "An innovative approach for monitoring and managing dynamic Dubai coastal zone". It showcased the emirate's experience in this field and explored the basics and ways of activating the methodology of integrated management of coastal zone through legislation and regulatory undertaken along the environmentally-sensitive areas. There also is a regulatory unit which undertakes all tasks and responsibilities for monitoring and studying the coastal phenomenan and their impact on the marine environment.

The paper focused on the Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) approach which is based on a sound understanding of prevailing coastal processes for managing the Dubai coastline which is subjected to massive development pressure coupled with extensive natural resource utilization. The most important strategic initiative for effective management of the Dubai coastal zone was identified to be the implementation of a coastal zone monitoring programme. The initial emphasis of the programme was primarily data collection and establishment of marine survey capability. Subsequently, this monitoring programme shifted focus to data analysis, products and interfacing with DM-operated predictive numerical models. The outcomes of this carefully designed phase sequence would eventually be translated to strategic planning directives and development of legislations to preserve and ensure sustainable development of the coastal zone.

In addition to the above, the section is undertaking an initiative to monitor the coastal zone through video cameras as three video cameras, mounted on the rooftop of the Burj Al Arab hotel, have been installed to capture time-lapse imagery of beaches. The building housing the cameras is located offshore, allowing the cameras to capture a full view of the beach from offshore, rather than the usual onshore seaward-directed view captured by most such systems. Captured video data were subjected to time exposure analysis to allow beach profile and bar dynamics to be quantified. Live images captured by the cameras were made available on the website at 30 minute intervals. As a complement to this effort an expanded network of cameras is now to be installed along the Dubai coast.

A high-frequency Radar system was recently installed to allow mapping of surface currents and wave fields off Dubai covering the area of Palm Jumeirah to Port Rashid. The provision is also made for inclusion of captured data on a dedicated website. The data captured will include magnitude and direction of currents, wave height, direction and period. The measurements will be subjected to initial verification through comparison with directional wave measurements obtained through the deployed ADCPs.

Moreover, a number of water quality monitoring field studies have also been carried out in Dubai Creek and off the Dubai coast in order to provide calibration and validation data for 3D water quality models of Dubai Creek and the Dubai coastal area.

The captured data, Alya added, are presently stored on a server at the Dubai Municipality and workstations running ArcMap® GIS is used as principal data management application. The latest captured data are also made available to the general public in summary tables and graphs on the web site http://www.dubaicoast.ae/. Future planned enhancements of the marine database are focused on adopting standards for data capturing, data storage and manipulation.

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