Abstract

Light detection and ranging (LIDAR) data are used for a wide array of purposes in the coastal zone. This can result in LIDAR data being collected multiple times in order to meet the specific needs of different agencies. This paper assesses the potential for airborne LIDAR bathymetry (ALB) and topographic LIDAR to be integrated for use in coastal research. Two topographic LIDAR data sets and an ALB data set are examined in three coastal test areas. Consideration of the potential for data integration focuses upon external validation of each data set using global positioning system (GPS) points, comparison of subareas and onshore-offshore cross-sections, horizontal feature matching onshore, and data set datum conversion. Data accuracy and datum integration potential confirm that all three data sets can be integrated onshore to facilitate extended LIDAR coverage and possibly also to minimise survey duplication in the coastal zone. Integration potential offshore is assessed by comparing the littoral component of an onshore topographic LIDAR digital surface model (DSM) data set with ALB data. Water-surface returns in the topographic LIDAR data collected during times of high water are found to constitute a barrier to data integration offshore, but topographic LIDAR data captured at low tide in one of the three coastal test areas suggest an opportunity to minimise duplicate surveying in the coastal zone.

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