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Development of Methods for the Integration of High Resolution Topographic and Bathymetric Lidar Surveys of the Tampa Bay Region

By

BROCK, JOHN

Center for Coastal and Regional Marine Studies, St. Petersburg, FL,

WRIGHT, WAYNE

NASA GSFC Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, VA,

GESCH, DEAN and CRANE, MICHAEL

EROS Data Center, Sioux Falls, SD,

HANSEN, MARK and SALLENGER, ASBURY

Center for Coastal and Regional Marine Studies, St. Petersburg, FL,

 

Methods are being developed for the creation of merged topographic - bathymetric aircraft lidar products for Tampa Bay. These new methods will enable the incorporation of dense bathymetric information derived from the NASA Experimental Advanced Airborne Research LIDAR (EAARL) within a DEM for Tampa Bay. The NASA EAARL is an airborne laser instrument that operates in the blue-green portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, and is specifically designed to measure nearshore water depths and adjacent coastal land elevations. Use of NASA EAARL data is advantageous in integrating existing topographic and bathymetric data acquired by traditional methods, because it provides dense morphological information that spans the land - water interface.

High resolution topographic LIDAR data for the Pinellas County portion of the Tampa Bay region was recently collected within a separate project. The NASA EAARL data collected along the Tampa Bay margin will provide a recent, high resolution swath of data across the land - water interface zone to which the recently collected Pinellas County topographic LIDAR and offshore NOAA bathymetric data will be matched. Comparison of bathymetry from the NASA EAARL and from acoustic boat-based instrumentation will be stratified by 1) bottom type, 2) depth, 3) slope, and 4) local turbidity, in an attempt to identify the causes of disagreement between active optical and acoustic methods. We anticipate that this stratified comparison will aid in developing recommendations on the appropriate use and reliability of NASA EAARL surveys of bathymetry in estuaries around the Gulf of Mexico.