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Mitasova, H., Hardin, E., Overton, M. F., Kurum, M. O. : Geospatial analysis of vulnerable beach-foredune systems from decadal time series of lidar data. Journal of Coastal Conservation, 14: 161-172, 2010.


Time series of lidar data, acquired over the past decade along the North American East Coast, provide opportunities to gain new insights into 3D evolution of barrier islands and their beach and dune systems. GIS-based per grid cell statistics and map algebra was applied to time series of Digital Surface Models representing two sections of North Carolina barrier islands to quantify elevation change trends, map dynamic and stable locations, identify new and lost buildings, measure relative volume evolution in the beach and foredune systems and analyze shoreline dynamics.

Results show a relatively small stable core in both study areas, with beaches and the ocean side of the dunes exhibiting systematic high rates of elevation loss while areas landward from the dunes increase slightly in elevation. Significant number of new homes have been built at locations with very small core surface elevation, and homes built within the shoreline dynamics band have already been lost. The raster-based methodology used in this study can be applied to perform similar analyses in other coastal areas where time series of lidar data are available.

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