Measuring the world's sandy beaches •

Last update: November 21st, 2019 at 11:00 am

Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features some of the world’s sandy shorelines, which were the focus of a recent study.

A team of scientists from The Netherlands used machine learning to train computer software to distinguish between sandy, rocky, and icy beaches in Landsat satellites images. The experts found that about 31 percent of the world’s coastlines are sandy, with the highest proportion in Africa.

On a global scale, the world’s beaches have slightly expanded over the last 30 years. However, around 24 percent of all sandy beaches have eroded, suggesting that marine protected areas may be threatened along the 50,000 miles of coastline where this erosion was observed.

The images were captured using data from the Thematic Mapper on Landsat 5 and the Operational Land Imager on Landsat 8.

By Chrissy Sexton, Staff Writer

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory

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