The application of Google Earth Engine platform to assess the erosion - accretion processes of the estuary and coastal areas of Tra Khuc river, Quang Ngai province, Vietnam

Dao Dinh Cham, Nguyen Van Hong, Nguyen Ngoc Thang, Nguyen Thanh Binh
Author affiliations


  • Dao Dinh Cham Institute of Geography, VAST, Vietnam
  • Nguyen Van Hong Institute of Geography, VAST, Vietnam
  • Nguyen Ngoc Thang Institute of Geography, VAST, Vietnam
  • Nguyen Thanh Binh Institute of Geography, VAST, Vietnam



Google Earth Engine, Cua Dai - Tra Khuc river, erosion-accretion, shoreline change.


Along with storms, tides,... human activities have also affected the erosion - accretion process of the coast and estuaries. When global climate change increases the risk of shoreline change in a negative manner, monitoring and quick assessment of this change is of great importance. Google has developed a cloud computing platform, called Google Earth Engine, to effectively address the challenges of big data analysis. This study aims at exploiting and processing multi-temporal satellite images of the Google Earth Engine platform (GEE), combined with topographic data since 1965 to monitor changes in estuary and shoreline of the coastal area of Cua Dai, Tra Khuc river, Quang Nam province during a period of 1965–2021. The analysis results show shoreline changes and hot spots of erosion and landslides along the coast, on both sides of Cua Dai river. After 56 years, the process of erosion - accretion in the river occurs strongly. The eroded riverbanks are located mainly along alluvial plains away from residential areas. Meanwhile, the coast along Cua Dai estuary changes in favor of accretion. However, in recent years, local erosion still occurs in some coastal areas with a length of 0.7–1.2 km in the territory of Pho An - Tan My villages (Nghia An commune). The study shows the potential for directly exploiting and processing large amounts of free satellite image on the GEE for resource monitoring and management applications.


Download data is not yet available.


Lam-Dao, N., Pham-Bach, V., Nguyen-Thanh, M., Pham-Thi, M. T., and Hoang-Phi, P., 2011. Change detection of land use and riverbank in Mekong Delta, Vietnam using time series remotely sensed data. Journal of Resources and Ecology, 2(4), 370–374.

Duc Huy, P. A., 2015. Shoreline assessment of Vam Nao river. Journal of Science and Development. 18(M2), 13–21. (in Vietnamese).

Lam, N. N., 2010. Study to apply time series of high-resolution remote sensing on assessing shoreline change for Tien and Hau rivers in An Giang and Dong Thap provinces. Ministry of Natural Resources and Enviroment. 64 p. (in Vietnamese).

Hoanh, T. P., 2018. Study riverbed changes of the Tien river (the part in Dong Thap province) for disaster prevention. HCMC University of Education Journal of Science, 36(70), 131–140. (in Vietnamese).

Hansen, M. C., Potapov, P. V., Moore, R., Hancher, M., Turubanova, S. A., Tyukavina, A., Thau, D., Stehman, S. V., Goetz, S. J., Loveland, T. R., Kommareddy, A., Egorov, A., Chini, L., Justice, C. O., and Townshend, J., 2013. High-resolution global maps of 21st-century forest cover change. Science, 342(6160), 850–853.

Giri, C., and Long, J., 2014. Land cover characterization and mapping of South America for the year 2010 using Landsat 30 m satellite data. Remote sensing, 6(10), 9494–9510.

Patel, N. N., Angiuli, E., Gamba, P., Gaughan, A., Lisini, G., Stevens, F. R., Tatem, A. J., and Trianni, G., 2015. Multitemporal settlement and population mapping from Landsat using Google Earth Engine. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 35, 199–208.

USGS, 2022. Landsat Satellite Missions. from, accessed 10 July, 2023., accessed 10 July, 2023.">

Dolan, R., Fenster, M. S., and Holme, S. J., 1991. Temporal analysis of shoreline recession and accretion. Journal of coastal research, 723–744.

McFeeters, S. K., 1996. The use of the Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI) in the delineation of open water features. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 17(7), 1425–1432.

Xu, H., 2006. Modification of normalised difference water index (NDWI) to enhance open water features in remotely sensed imagery. International journal of remote sensing, 27(14), 3025–3033.

Li, W., Du, Z., Ling, F., Zhou, D., Wang, H., Gui, Y., Sun, B., and Zhang, X., 2013. A comparison of land surface water mapping using the normalized difference water index from TM, ETM+ and ALI. Remote Sensing, 5(11), 5530–5549.

Otsu, N., 1979. A threshold selection method from gray-level histograms. IEEE transactions on systems, man, and cybernetics, 9(1), 62–66.

Carling, P. A., 2009. Geomorphology and sedimentology of the Lower Mekong River. In The Mekong (pp. 77–111). Academic Press.

Nghi, L. V., 2014. Identifying the causes landslides, sedimentation and solutions to regulate the estuaries of Tra Khuc river. Vietnam Academy for Water Resources, 210 ps. (in Vietnamese).

Bon, T. V., Ngoc, V. V., Quynh, V. P., and Truong, T. M., 2018. Dynamic processes and morphological changes of Cua Dai and Cua Lo estuary in Quang Ngai province. Journal of Science and Technology Water Resources, 48, 7–15. (in Vietnamese).




How to Cite

Dao, D. C., Nguyen, V. H., Nguyen , N. T., & Nguyen , T. B. (2023). The application of Google Earth Engine platform to assess the erosion - accretion processes of the estuary and coastal areas of Tra Khuc river, Quang Ngai province, Vietnam. Vietnam Journal of Marine Science and Technology, 23(3), 233–246.




Most read articles by the same author(s)