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Data Series 839

Topographic Lidar Survey of the Alabama, Mississippi, and Southeast Louisiana Barrier Islands, from September 5 to October 11, 2012

By Kristy K. Guy, Kara J. Doran, Hilary F. Stockdon, and Nathaniel G. Plant

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (20 KB)Summary

This Data Series Report contains lidar elevation data collected from September 5 to October 11, 2012, for the barrier islands of Alabama, Mississippi and southeast Louisiana, including the coast near Port Fourchon.  Most of the data were collected September 5–10, 2012, with a reflight conducted on October 11, 2012, to increase point density in some areas. Point cloud data—data points described in three dimensions—in lidar data exchange format (LAS), and bare earth digital elevation models (DEMs) in ERDAS Imagine raster format (IMG), are available as downloadable files. The point cloud data were processed to extract bare earth data; therefore, the point cloud data are organized into four classes: 1-unclassified, 2-ground, 7-noise and 9-water. Aero-Metric, Inc., was contracted by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to collect and process these data.

The lidar data were acquired at a horizontal spacing (or nominal pulse spacing) of 1 meter (m) or less.  The USGS conducted two ground surveys in a small area on Chandeleur Island on September 6, 2012, one on bare earth and the other in both bare earth and vegetated areas. The USGS calculated a vertical root mean square error (RMSEz) of 0.072 m and an offset of 0.007 m using interpolated 2-m by 2-m resolution grid surfaces made from the lidar bare-earth data and the combined USGS ground surveys. Aero-Metric, Inc., calculated an RMSEz of 0.025 m by comparing the USGS bare earth ground survey point data to the closest lidar points.  The USGS also conducted a terrestrial lidar survey on Dauphin Island, Louisiana, on September 3, 2012. The USGS calculated a RMSEz of 0.32 m and an offset of 0.27 m, meaning the lidar data were 0.27 m higher than the ground truth (Guy and others, 2013), using interpolated 2-m by 2-m resolution grid surfaces from the airborne lidar bare-earth data and the terrestrial lidar survey.

This lidar survey was acquired to document the changes of several different barrier island systems resulting from Hurricane Isaac (Guy and others, 2013). The survey supports detailed studies of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama barrier islands that resolve annual and episodic changes in beaches, berms and dunes associated with processes driven by storms, sea-level rise, and even human restoration activities.

These lidar data are available to Federal, State and local governments, emergency-response officials, resource managers, and the general public.

First posted June 2, 2014

For additional information, contact:
Director, St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
600 Fourth Street South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701–48463
(727) 502–8000

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Suggested citation:

Guy, K.K., Doran, K.J., Stockdon H.F., and Plant, N.G., 2014, Topographic lidar survey of the Alabama, Mississippi, and Southeast Louisiana Barrier Islands, from September 5 to October 11, 2012: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 839, 1 p.,

ISSN 2327-638X (online)





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