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New England Lidar Workshop

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Bill Schwab, John Brock, Amar Nayegandhi, Dean Gesch, and Stephen White discuss possible collaboration efforts.
Above: (Clockwise, beginning with people on couch): Bill Schwab (USGS Woods Hole Science Center), John Brock (USGS Woods Hole Science Center), Amar Nayegandhi (Jacobs Technology/USGS), Dean Gesch (USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science [EROS] Center), and Stephen White (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrationís National Geodetic Survey) discuss possible collaboration efforts. [larger version]

Demand for high-quality elevation data has increased significantly, driven by local, State, and Federal government agencies as well as by the community and industry. Lidar (light detection and ranging) and other acquisition technologies are also developing at a rapid rate. In May 2009, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Coastal and Marine Geology Program's Decision Support for Coastal Science and Management project and the Northeast Regional Ocean Council (NROC) hosted a workshop to provide an overview of the current state of lidar data-acquisition technologies and to discuss applications and availability of high-resolution topographic data for meeting local and regional coastal needs in New England. Other objectives of this workshop, held at the USGS Woods Hole Science Center in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, were to understand the different statutory responsibilities of Federal agencies for collecting and disseminating lidar data, to discuss the needs of resource agencies for high-resolution elevation data, to explore ideas and options for a coordinated New England lidar program, to outline steps that can be taken over the next 18 months to build a coordinated network, and to learn about current applications of lidar technology to coastal science and resource issues.

The first workshop day gave participants an opportunity to discuss the needs for high-resolution elevation data and the status of existing data and their sources, as well as current and needed tools for data dissemination and interest in seamless datasets. Representatives from State agencies, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and universities presented first, followed by representatives from several Federal agencies. After the presentations, four breakout groups were formed, and each was asked to discuss a realistic scenario requiring a coordinated effort to collect, store, and disseminate high-resolution elevation data.

On the following day, participants discussed coordination efforts and what it would take to synchronize lidar activities in coastal New England. The afternoon discussion focused on current applications of lidar technology, including lidar bathymetric mapping, the use of lidar to determine the shoreline, barrier-island geomorphology derived from lidar, floodplain hydrologic modeling, terrestrial-vegetation mapping, and surveying with ground-based lidar.

The workshop ended with an optional third day to discuss the capabilities and applications of the Experimental Advanced Airborne Research Lidar (EAARL), an airborne lidar system that provides unique capabilities to survey coral reefs, nearshore benthic habitats, coastal vegetation, and sandy beaches. Operating in the blue-green portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, the EAARL is specifically designed to measure submerged topography and adjacent coastal land elevations seamlessly in a single scan of transmitted laser pulses. (More information about EAARL is posted on the Experimental Advanced Airborne Research Lidar (EAARL) Web page.)

USGS and NROC Federal and State collaborators will continue to foster communication and coordinate planning to ensure that high-resolution elevation data will be available for coastal managers and decision makers entrusted with the well-being of human and ecological communities in coastal areas.

Related Sound Waves Stories
Airborne Lidar Processing System (ALPS) Workshop
June 2008

Related Web Sites
Decision Support for Coastal Science and Management project
Northeast Regional Ocean Council

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cover story:
Study Demonstrates How Methylmercury Forms in the Ocean

Nutrient Delivery to Gulf of Mexico Above 30-Year Average

Fieldwork Submarine Landslides as Potential Triggers of Tsunamis

Photographic Overflight Provides Baseline for Coastal Change Assessments

Climate Past, Climate Future: A Story of Aquatic Plants

Outreach SCUBAnauts Visit Capitol Hill During Ocean Week

USGS Scientist Participates in Panel About Ocean Acidification

Meetings New England Lidar Workshop

Awards Jeff Williams Receives 2009 Coastal Zone Foundation Career Award

USGS Scientist Receives Best Student Poster Award

DOI Award Recognizes Coast Salish Tribal Journey Partnership

Staff and Center News New USGS Mendenhall Postdoctoral Research Fellows

Publications August 2009 Publications List U. S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
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Updated May 06, 2014 @ 02:12 PM (JSS)