CREST searches and rescues historical scientific information | CREST project

CREST searches and rescues historical scientific information

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CREST searches and rescues historical scientific information

Added on 2017-01-18
Within the CREST project historical data is being sleuthed and digitized.
Data archeology refers to recovering computer data that are stored in old formats or on obsolete media. But the term can also refer to the sleuth of data in basements or archives, whose existence is not known with the risk of getting lost. For example, data that play a role in improving our understanding of current and future processes based on past events.
One of the tasks within the CREST project focuses on the search and recovery of these data.

To complete this task successfully, VLIZ has first identified data sets that can play an important role in the project.Two datasets were discovered that are useful to the project: measurements of beach profiles under the direction of Prof. Dr Em. Guy De Moor for the period 1971-1996; and the Eurosense series “Situation Plans of coastal morphology" with information on the bathymetry of the Belgian coast.

Archive boxes full of beach profiles are in the basement of Ghent University. Few, however, know its existence. Nevertheless, these boxes contain very valuable information about the evolution of the beach and its topography before the first beach nourishments were executed at the Belgian coast.
Some had already been transferred from paper into Excel by Ghent University (Department of Geography); the missing information was digitized during the summer months of 2016 and made available to scientists within the CREST project.

The Eurosense bathymetry data are maps on paper in the archives of the Coastal Division. VLIZ will digitize the maps and make them available in the form of map layers (shapefiles).
But also old maps can contain a wealth of information. Maps of the late 19th century show data of heights and depths running from the dunes to the sea ...
By combining these data one can get a better picture of the past and what influence storms and beach nourishments have on the morphology of the beach. This information can be taken into account in future nourishments or coastal developments with the aim of protecting the Belgian coast against a 1,000-year storm.

More information: Simon Claus and Nathalie De Hauwere

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