Anthropogenic Marine Debris (AMD) is one of the major environmental issues of our planet to date, and plastic accounts for 80% of total AMD. Beaches represent one of the main marine compartment where AMD accumulates, but few and scattered regional assessments are available from literature reporting quantitative estimation of AMD distributed on the shorelines. However, accessing information on the AMD accumulation rate on beaches, and the associated spatiotemporal oscillations, would be crucial to refining global estimation on the dispersal mechanisms. In our work, we address this issue by proposing an ad-hoc methodology for monitoring and automatically quantifying AMD, based on the combined use of a commercial Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) (equipped with an RGB high-resolution camera) and a deep-learning based software (i.e.: PlasticFinder). Remote areas were monitored by UAV and were inspected by operators on the ground to check and to categorise all AMD dispersed on the beach. The high-resolution images obtained from UAV allowed to visually detect a percentage of the objects on the shores higher than 87.8%, thus providing suitable images to populate training and testing datasets, as well as gold standards to evaluate the software performance. PlasticFinder reached a Sensitivity of 67%, with a Positive Predictive Value of 94%, in the automatic detection of AMD, but a limitation was found, due to reduced sunlight conditions, thus restricting to the use of the software in its present version. We, therefore, confirmed the efficiency of commercial UAVs as tools for AMD monitoring and demonstrated - for the first time - the potential of deep learning for the automatic detection and quantification of AMD.

Fallati, L., Polidori, A., Salvatore, C., Saponari, L., Savini, A., Galli, P. (2019). Anthropogenic Marine Debris assessment with Unmanned Aerial Vehicle imagery and deep learning: A case study along the beaches of the Republic of Maldives. SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT, 693 [10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.133581].

Anthropogenic Marine Debris assessment with Unmanned Aerial Vehicle imagery and deep learning: A case study along the beaches of the Republic of Maldives

Fallati, L;Salvatore, C;Saponari, L;Savini, A
;
Galli, P
2019

Abstract

Anthropogenic Marine Debris (AMD) is one of the major environmental issues of our planet to date, and plastic accounts for 80% of total AMD. Beaches represent one of the main marine compartment where AMD accumulates, but few and scattered regional assessments are available from literature reporting quantitative estimation of AMD distributed on the shorelines. However, accessing information on the AMD accumulation rate on beaches, and the associated spatiotemporal oscillations, would be crucial to refining global estimation on the dispersal mechanisms. In our work, we address this issue by proposing an ad-hoc methodology for monitoring and automatically quantifying AMD, based on the combined use of a commercial Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) (equipped with an RGB high-resolution camera) and a deep-learning based software (i.e.: PlasticFinder). Remote areas were monitored by UAV and were inspected by operators on the ground to check and to categorise all AMD dispersed on the beach. The high-resolution images obtained from UAV allowed to visually detect a percentage of the objects on the shores higher than 87.8%, thus providing suitable images to populate training and testing datasets, as well as gold standards to evaluate the software performance. PlasticFinder reached a Sensitivity of 67%, with a Positive Predictive Value of 94%, in the automatic detection of AMD, but a limitation was found, due to reduced sunlight conditions, thus restricting to the use of the software in its present version. We, therefore, confirmed the efficiency of commercial UAVs as tools for AMD monitoring and demonstrated - for the first time - the potential of deep learning for the automatic detection and quantification of AMD.
Articolo in rivista - Articolo scientifico
Anthropogenic Marine-Debris; Beach; Deep learning algorithms; Machine learning; Maldives; Unmanned Aerial Vehicles;
Anthropogenic Marine-Debris; Beach; Deep learning algorithms; Machine learning; Maldives; Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
English
Fallati, L., Polidori, A., Salvatore, C., Saponari, L., Savini, A., Galli, P. (2019). Anthropogenic Marine Debris assessment with Unmanned Aerial Vehicle imagery and deep learning: A case study along the beaches of the Republic of Maldives. SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT, 693 [10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.133581].
Fallati, L; Polidori, A; Salvatore, C; Saponari, L; Savini, A; Galli, P
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10281/240124
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