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Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are cost-effective tools already applied in several environmental research fields. Due to the recently improved resolution and accuracy of derived images and equipped sensors, UAVs are supporting or, in some cases, replacing traditional topographic instruments (i.e., DGPS, Laser Scanner, etc.) especially in studies of coastal settings which aim to detect morphological change and sediment dynamics. The rapid and efficient application of UAVs also represents a rapid tool for assessing flooding extents or storm impacts affecting coastal communities in the context of rising sea levels and climate change. UAV-derived datasets can also be used in implementing historical information regarding shoreline evolution, dune conservation or sediment circulation among different space–time scales.
This Special Issue aims at collecting new insights and benefits deriving from the use of UAVs in studies focusing on coastal geomorphology. Recent advancements in the methodologies, techniques, data processing, and future developments of UAV systems are also welcome, as well as studies including, but not limited to, the following aspects:
Tracking of coastal sediment and/or sediment dynamics by means of UAVs;
Detection of hotspots of erosion (or accretion) induced by storms or by regular coastal hydrodynamics;
Integration of UAV datasets with historical imagery gathered from traditional sources and used for shoreline or long-term studies of coastal evolution;
The use of UAVs in investigating dune morphology and volume variations in the beach system;
UAVs applied as a rapid tool to assess the impact of storms or flooding extents in coastal areas at risk;
UAV application for hydrodynamic measurements in coastal systems;
UAV as tool for monitoring the evolution of nourishment projects or ecosystem-based approaches for coastal defense;
Any kind of UAV application related to coastal morphodynamics studies.