Varbla, S.; Ellmann, A., and Delpeche-Ellmann, N., 2020. Utilizing airborne laser scanning and geoid model for near-coast improvements in sea surface height and marine dynamics. In: Malvárez, G. and Navas, F. (eds.), Global Coastal Issues of 2020. Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue No. 95, pp. 1339-1343. Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208.
For most coastal engineering applications sea surface height (SSH) is commonly obtained from land bounded tide gauges (TG). Instead, this study now explores a methodology that utilizes airborne laser scanning (ALS) in conjunction with a hydrodynamic model (HDM), TGs and a high-resolution marine geoid model to obtain (i) accurate SSH at coasts; (ii) deeper insight into the marine dynamics that may be present and (iii) identification of deficiencies in the HDM and/or geoid model. The methodology employed a robust processing of ALS data, followed by referencing all sources of data to the geoid and subsequent statistical analysis of the discrepancies. The comparison between HDM and ALS shows maximum discrepancies of 15 cm, which reveals deficiencies in the used HDM. In addition, the ALS data shows promising results for identifying surface waves properties that otherwise would not be captured in such detail.