Mapping Coastal Erosion Using LiDAR

This is an excellent, brief blog post on the use of LiDAR to map coastal erosion, in this case as a result of Hurricane Sandy. The area of focus was a section of Fire Island, a barrier Island along the coast of Long Island in New York. According to USGS, Hurricane Sandy caused approximately 30 years worth of coastal damage as it passed up the eastern seaboard, with average dunes erosion in the realm of 22 meters horizontally, and as much as 5 meter losses in elevation in some places

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2 Responses to Mapping Coastal Erosion Using LiDAR

  1. Frank O'Hare says:

    I did some of the first mapping of the Okovango “Swamps” (they are not swamps) near Maun in the country now called Botswana it was Bechuanaland. The plan was to pump water from that huge wetland collection area now a great tourist attraction but at the time I first mapped some of it there was nothing but lots of wild animal including crockodile in the thousands and Hippos’ of course.

    I was an engineer/surveyor with Rhodesian Selection Trust at the time, a mineral exploration company and we discovered the copper still being mined — we had to change our name to Roan Selection Trust.

    The point of all this: I used radar for most of the distance measuring and some tellurometer to tie into some earlier triangulation trig points I had done earlier when working for the Bechuanaland Gvernment. We found an alternative source of water supply and left that beautiful area only with a few bench marks and trig points.

  2. Patrick Collins says:

    Thanks for linking to the post. I gave this talk at the Esri UC a couple of weeks ago and wrote the blog post as a follow up. If anyone is interested in seeing a voiced-over video of the full presentation you can find it on YouTube at
    Thanks again for the post!

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