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Open-File Report 2013–1083

Louisiana Barrier Island Comprehensive Monitoring (BICM) Program Summary Report: Data and Analyses 2006 through 2010

By Jack L. Kindinger, Noreen A. Buster, James G. Flocks, Julie C. Bernier, and Mark A. Kulp

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Executive Summary

The Barrier Island Comprehensive Monitoring (BICM) program was implemented under the Louisiana Coastal Area Science and Technology (LCA S&T) office as a component of the System Wide Assessment and Monitoring (SWAMP) program. The BICM project was developed by the State of Louisiana (Coastal Protection Restoration Authority [CPRA], formerly Department of Natural Resources [DNR]) to complement other Louisiana coastal monitoring programs such as the Coastwide Reference Monitoring System-Wetlands (CRMS-Wetlands) and was a collaborative research effort by CPRA, University of New Orleans (UNO), and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The goal of the BICM program was to provide long-term data on the barrier islands of Louisiana that could be used to plan, design, evaluate, and maintain current and future barrier-island restoration projects. The BICM program used both historical and newly acquired (2006 to 2010) data to assess and monitor changes in the aerial and subaqueous extent of islands, habitat types, sediment texture and geotechnical properties, environmental processes, and vegetation composition. BICM datasets included aerial still and video photography (multiple time series) for shoreline positions, habitat mapping, and land loss; light detection and ranging (lidar) surveys for topographic elevations; single-beam and swath bathymetry; and sediment grab samples. Products produced using BICM data and analyses included (but were not limited to) storm-impact assessments, rate of shoreline and bathymetric change, shoreline-erosion and accretion maps, high-resolution elevation maps, coastal-shoreline and barrier-island habitat-classification maps, and coastal surficial-sediment characterization maps.

Discussions in this report summarize the extensive data-collection efforts and present brief interpretive analyses for four coastal Louisiana geographic regions. In addition, several coastal-wide and topical themes were selected that integrate the data and analyses within a broader coastal context: (1) barrier-shoreline evolution driven by rapid relative sea-level rise (RSLR), (2) hurricane impacts to the Chandeleur Islands and likelihood of island recovery, (3) impact of tropical storms on barrier shorelines, (4) Barataria Bay tidal-inlet management, and (5) habitat changes related to RSLR. The final theme addresses potential future goals of the BICM program, including rotational annual to semi-decadal monitoring, proposed new-data collection, how to incorporate technological advances with previous data-collection and monitoring protocols, and standardizing methods and quality-control assessments for continued coastal monitoring and restoration.

First posted April 11, 2013

For additional information contact:
Director, St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
600 Fourth Street South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701-4846
Telephone: (727) 803–8747

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Suggested citation:

Kindinger, J.L., Buster, N.A., Flocks, J.G., Bernier, J.C., and Kulp, M.A., 2013, Louisiana Barrier Island Comprehensive Monitoring (BICM) Program Summary Report: Data and Analyses 2006 through 2010: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2013–1083, 86 p., at



Executive Summary


(Includes six volumes of the Barrier Island Comprehensive Monitoring Program: Volume 1: Barrier-Shoreline Post-Storm Assessment; Volume 2: Shoreline Changes and Barrier-Island Land Loss, 1800s to 2005; Volume 3: Bathymetry and Historical Seafloor Change, 1869–2007; Volume 4: Accuracy of EAARL Lidar Ground Elevations Using a Bare-Earth Algorithm in Marsh and Beach Grasses on the Chandeleur Islands, Louisiana; Volume 5: Chenier Plain, South-Central Louisiana, and Chandeleur Islands Habitat Mapping and Change Analysis 1996 to 2005; and Volume 6: Characterization of Louisiana Coastal Sediment Samples: Back-Barrier through Offshore Samples of the Chenier Plain, South-Central Barrier-Island Systems, and Chandeleur Islands)

Regional Discussions

Discussion of Louisiana Coast-Wide and Topical Themes

THEME 1: Barrier-Shoreline Evolution in a Regime of Rapid Relative Sea-Level Rise and Interior-Wetland Loss

THEME 2: Hurricane Impact to the Chandeleur Islands during the Period 1855 to 2005 and the Likelihood of Island Recovery

THEME 3: Impact of Tropical Storms on Barrier-Shoreline Elevations and the Response of Island Renourishment to Storms

THEME 4: Barataria Bay Tidal-Inlet Management Considerations

THEME 5: Habitat Changes Related to Long-Term Relative Sea-Level-Driven Erosion and Short-Term Storm-Driven Erosion

THEME 6: Future Goals of the BICM Program


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