The coastal station

STACOT is an observation station without walls, built in 2010 and scientifically managed by the Réunion-based representatives of UMR ENTROPIE and Espace-Dev.

It was initially developed to observe and monitor the coastline and beach profiles, and also houses a marine biology and ecology observation station, to monitor the state of health of the reef and the goods and services associated with it.

STACOT also integrates the dimension of a socio-ecological observatory, since the anthropic pressure of reef beach use is a monitoring indicator, in the same way as physical indicators. The current scope of STACOT’s activities encompasses :

  • Water chemistry (UMR Entropie)
  • Millipore reproduction and coral recruitment (UMR Entropie and RNMR)
  • Coastline monitoring and coastal morphodynamics (UMR Espace-dev)
  • Coastal physical oceanography (OSU-Réunion)
  • Monitoring visitor numbers and usage (UMR Espace-dev)

STACOT’s interdisciplinary approach aims to answer the following global scientific question:

What are the impacts of global change and local anthropogenic disturbances on the dynamics of the Saint-Gilles/La Saline fringing reef and associated ecosystem services?

STACOT’s perimeter is now being extended out to sea to monitor coastal water bodies, and to other coasts to monitor hard or soft substrates.

The ILICO transverse pilot site

Since 2021, a dynamic has been emerging within STACOT to build a transverse pilot instrumented site, which aims to bring together several SNOs belonging to the Infrastructure de recherche sur le LIttoral et le COtier (ILICO), with a specific overseas focus. This inter-SNO instrumented site does not cover the whole of the Station Côtière and focuses on a portion of Réunion’s fringing reef, the Hermitage les Bains reef on the west coast of Réunion.

The scientific questions addressed individually in each SNO are intended to answer a broader scientific question, integrating the scope of IR ILICO :

What is the role of the coral reef in the construction and maintenance of reef beaches of biodetritic origin, and its resilience in the face of climate change?


Organization chart

Organization chart

Scientific objectives

in conjunction with national research infrastructures

  • Long-term monitoring of reef barrier geomorphology
  • Quantifying extreme meteorological events that contribute to coastal erosion and marine submersion phenomena
  • Monitoring the spatio-temporal evolution of biological and biogeochemical parameters that contribute to maintaining coral vitality
  • Estimate the role of the reef in protecting beaches from marine forcing exerted by austral and cyclonic swells.

Linking up with international observation networks

  • Absolute sea level monitoring
  • Le système mondial d’observation du niveau de la mer (GLOSS)
  • Service permanent pour le niveau moyen de la mer (PSMSL)

Other scientific objectives of the station

  • Population dynamics (UMR Entropie)
  • millipore reproduction
  • coral recruitment
  • holothurian reproduction
  • Community ecology (UMR Entropie)
  • monitoring benthic fauna on soft and hard substrates
  • monitoring of hard substrate indicators (DCE network)
  • monitoring cryptic biodiversity and the microbiome