Delineation of Water Bodies In Emergent Wetlands
The Coastal National Elevation Database (CoNED) Applications Project team has
developed new applications for pre- and post-Hurricane Sandy regional light detection
and ranging (lidar) datasets for mapping the spatial extent of coastal wetlands. These
new methods were developed to derive detailed land/water polygons for an area in
coastal New Jersey, which is dominated by a complex configuration of emergent
wetlands and open water. Using pre- and post-Hurricane Sandy lidar data, repeatable
geospatial methods were used to map the land/water spatial configuration at a regional
scale to complement wetland mapping that uses traditional methods such as
photointerpretation and image classification.
Lidar offers high spatial resolution (< 1-meter point spacing) and precise elevation
measurements that can be used to efficiently map the land/water interface. Pre- and
post-Hurricane Sandy lidar data were processed and analyzed to map coastal wetland
changes over the extent of the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge and
Barnegat Bay, New Jersey. The resulting map can be used to visualize and quantify
changes in wetland morphology such as erosion, wetland inundation, internal ponding,
and marsh migration across the region. The analyses are based on airborne lidar
acquired in 2010 and 2014. These data provide a consistent, comprehensive wetland
shoreline that is important for hydrodynamic models, for shoreline change detection
analyses, and as a base layer for wetland classification maps.
For more information or to download the vector shapefiles, please visit https://dx.doi.org/10.5066/F7M043J4
Terrain roughness index spatial extent comparison of coastal wetlands in New Jersey.
USGS image created by Cindy Thatcher.