Topographic-Bathymetric LIDAR Evaluation for Integrated Ocean and Coastal Mapping


An emerging class of lidar system bridges the gap between conventional topographic and bathymetric lidar, using narrow-divergence, 532 nm laser beams, low pulse energy, small fields of view (FOVs), and very high sampling rates to acquire seamless, high-resolution data on both sides of the land-water interface. These systems offer the potential to simultaneously serve a variety of nautical charting, coastal science, and coastal zone management data needs, a key concept of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Integrated Ocean and Coastal Mapping (IOCM) initiative. By providing seamless, high-resolution data across the backshore, intertidal, and nearshore subtidal zones to depths of ~5-20 m (depending on water clarity and other variables), these systems are uniquely suited for mapping tide-datum based shoreline, as well studies of coastal processes, inundation modeling, coastal habitats, and ecosystem-based management. Here we present the results of an evaluation project conducted with a new, commercial topo-bathy system, the Riegl VQ-820-G. In the first test of the system in U.S. coastal waters, data were acquired for five small sites on the Florida Atlantic coast and in the Florida Keys. Reference data sets, including shallow GPS transects, acoustic data, and other lidar data, were used to evaluate the lidar data with respect to extinction depth, density of seafloor points, and vertical uncertainty of seafloor elevations obtained with the system.


Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping

Publication Date


Journal or Conference Title

European LiDAR Mapping Forum (ELMF)

Conference Date

Dec 4 - Dec 5, 2012

Publisher Place

Salzburg, Austria

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

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