Accurate low-water line determination: the influence of Malaysia’s legislation and coastal policies on maritime baseline integrity

Seet, Robin Poh Aik (2013) Accurate low-water line determination: the influence of Malaysia’s legislation and coastal policies on maritime baseline integrity. MSc(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

Full text available as:
[thumbnail of 2013SeetMSc.pdf] PDF
Download (6MB)
Printed Thesis Information:


A fundamental component of any marine cadastre is the accurate positioning of the baseline since this defines the landward limit of marine parcels. Typically the maritime baseline is based on some form of Low Water Mark (LWM). However, it is notoriously difficult to determine the location of the baseline since within the highly dynamic coastal environment, the LWM is continually shifting. The primary aim of this research is to develop a methodology to efficiently determine the baseline by acquiring an integrated terrestrial Digital Terrain Model (DTM) using DGPS and a marine DTM based on near-shore bathymetry and tidal data, in order to derive the location of the baseline at a particular time. Fieldwork was carried out at Millport, Scotland using DGPS and marine radio-echo sounding to generate DTMs, which were then compared with external elevation measurements from SRTM, ASTER GDEM and NEXTMAP datasets. This method produced more robust results than those derived from existing datasets. Low-water lines (e.g. MLWS, LAT) were generated and compared to their locations shown on the current Ordnance Survey and Admiralty maps and charts. Results show highly accurate low-water lines (LAT) were produced using this method and that LAT has moved inland, likely due to a combination of sediment loss and sea level rise. A second objective was to review maritime baseline policy of other coastal countries, especially those neighbouring Malaysia. It was found that most coastal countries have a multitude of coastal management policies and initiatives to manage their coastal environment sustainably but policy design to sustain the integrity and position of the maritime baseline is almost non-existent. Such a finding also applies to Malaysia’s land and marine related legislation and coastal zone management initiatives. The principal conclusion is that the approach demonstrated here is an efficient and repeatable way to derive the low-water line along small segments of coastline for the needs of a marine cadastre but that there is an overriding need for an integrated and sustained policy to establish and regularly update the maritime baseline in Malaysia.

Item Type: Thesis (MSc(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Keywords: Marine cadastre, cadastre, low water mark, maritime baseline, digital terrain model, DTM, DGPS, Malaysia
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences > Geography
Supervisor's Name: Forrest, Dr. David and Hansom, Dr. Jim
Date of Award: 2013
Depositing User: mr robin seet
Unique ID: glathesis:2013-4551
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 28 Aug 2013 12:15
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2013 12:15

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year