EAARL-B coastal topography: eastern New Jersey, Hurricane Sandy, 2012: first surface

Data Series 767
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These remotely sensed, geographically referenced elevation measurements of lidar-derived first-surface (FS) topography datasets were produced by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center, St. Petersburg, Florida.

This project provides highly detailed and accurate datasets for a portion of the New Jersey coastline beachface, acquired pre-Hurricane Sandy on October 26, and post-Hurricane Sandy on November 1 and November 5, 2012. The datasets are made available for use as a management tool to research scientists and natural-resource managers. An innovative airborne lidar system, known as the second-generation Experimental Advanced Airborne Research Lidar (EAARL-B), was used during data acquisition. The EAARL-B system is a raster-scanning, waveform-resolving, green-wavelength (532-nm) lidar designed to map nearshore bathymetry, topography, and vegetation structure simultaneously. The EAARL-B sensor suite includes the raster-scanning, water-penetrating full-waveform adaptive lidar, down-looking red-green-blue (RGB) and infrared (IR) digital cameras, two precision dual-frequency kinematic carrier-phase GPS receivers, and an integrated miniature digital inertial measurement unit, which provide for sub-meter georeferencing of each laser sample. The nominal EAARL-B platform is a twin-engine Cessna 310 aircraft, but the instrument may be deployed on a range of light aircraft. A single pilot, a lidar operator, and a data analyst constitute the crew for most survey operations. This sensor has the potential to make significant contributions in measuring sub-aerial and submarine coastal topography within cross-environmental surveys.

Elevation measurements were collected over the survey area using the EAARL-B system. The resulting data were then processed using the Airborne Lidar Processing System (ALPS), a custom-built processing system developed in a NASA-USGS collaboration. ALPS supports the exploration and processing of lidar data in an interactive or batch mode. Modules for presurvey flight-line definition, flight-path plotting, lidar raster and waveform investigation, and digital camera image playback have been developed. Processing algorithms have been developed to extract the range to the first and last significant return within each waveform. ALPS is used routinely to create maps that represent submerged or sub-aerial topography. Specialized filtering algorithms have been implemented to determine the "bare earth" under vegetation from a point cloud of last return elevations.

For more information about similar projects, please visit the Lidar for Science and Resource Management Web site.

Study Area

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title EAARL-B coastal topography: eastern New Jersey, Hurricane Sandy, 2012: first surface
Series title Data Series
Series number 767
DOI 10.3133/ds767
Edition Originally posted July 15, 2014; Revised and reposted August 18, 2014, version 1.1
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center
Description HTML Document
Country United States
State New Jersey
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
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