Oslo, Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Blom to monitor Corsica’s coastal erosion

Blom Aerofilms, Blom Group’s UK subsidiary, has been awarded a contract to undertake a bathymetric survey of the Corsican coastline to provide detailed information about ongoing coastal erosion on the Mediterranean island as well as to assess the impact of man-made structures both on future erosion and navigation safety.

Blom, leading European provider of map data and geographic information, has been awarded a contract by BRGM, the French Geological Survey, in partnership with OEC (Office de l'Environnement de la Corse) and with the contribution of AERMC (Agence de l'Eau Rhône Méditerranée Corse), to undertake an aerial bathymetric LiDAR survey of the Oriental Coastal Plain of Corsica, providing some 120km² of new data. Blom’s data capture and processing for the new Corsican initiative is expected to be completed by January 2010.

This investigation, included in the Corsican Coastal monitoring network (OEC-BRGM), will provide the first accurate digital elevation model of the oriental coastal plain. This information will permit to describe complex coastal morphologies and to develop numerical tools for the understanding and prediction of coastal hazards (erosion, marine inundation, storm impacts) and coastal risks. High quality and high resolution datasets will help to better prepare coastal planning and adaptation strategies.

Key to the success of this new initiative will be the use of the specialist HawkEye II scanner, with its unique capability to capture precision data from both land and seabed terrains simultaneously in just one aerial pass. Bathymetric and topographic data will be used to create a continuous digital elevation model of both the sea and the contiguous land. The data from HawkEye II scanner will provide important insights into the condition of the coastline, including the spatial imprint of man-made structures such as breakwaters and their consequences on the environment as well as that of coastal houses and other developments. In addition, the fine detail in the cloud points’ density produced through the LiDAR survey will help identify very small scale variations in the height and roughness of the underwater ground surface, exposing the morphology of the sand dunes identifying any sandbars and producing data that can then be employed to develop hydrodynamic models to tackle any local build up of sediments.
HawkEye II laser data can also be used to determine and analyse the geology at the sea bottom. It can be employed to accelerate the availability and accuracy of nautical charting, identifying the shape of the seabed as well as pinpointing the position and exact size of any man-made structures or obstructions. 

For further information please contact Håkon Jacobsen, COO Blom ASA, at tel: +47 22 13 19 20 or email: or contact Jo Foster, Wide Blue Yonder, for images or press information, at tel: Tel: +44 7973 960133 or email:

About BRGM
BRGM is France's leading public institution involved in the Earth Science field for the sustainable management of natural resources and surface and subsurface risks. BRGM is a public institution with industrial and commercial interests (EPIC) under the joint supervision of the ministries responsible for research, for industry and for environment. BRGM has four missions: Technological research and development and innovation; support for public policies and citizen information; international cooperation and development aid; safety and monitoring of former mining sites. Main objectives of the BRGM are to understand geological phenomena, develop new methodologies and techniques, produce and disseminate pertinent, high quality data in order to provide public authorities with the necessary tools for: i) surface, subsurface and natural resource management, ii) natural risk and pollution prevention, iii) regional planning and development. The main interests of the coastal group currently includes coastal dynamics observation and instrumentation developments (Video, radars, lasers, remote sensing); vulnerability of coastal systems to erosion and submersion hazards, storms and cyclonic swell; impact of climate change; numerical modelling of hydrodynamics (wave, currents, tsunami), submersion processes and morphodynamics; stability of rocky

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