Improving Low-Relief Coastal LiDAR DEMs with Hydro-Conditioning of Fine-Scale and Artificial Drainages

ECU Author/Contributor (non-ECU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Thomas R.,Howard,Robert Allen (Creator)
East Carolina University (ECU )
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Abstract: Improvements in Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology and spatial analysisof high-resolution digital elevation models (DEMs) have advanced the accuracy anddiversity of applications for coastal hazards and natural resources management.This article presents a concise synthesis of LiDAR analysis for coastal flooding andmanagement applications in low-relief coastal plains and a case study demonstration ofa new, efficient drainage mapping algorithm. The impetus for these LiDAR applicationsfollows historic flooding from Hurricane Floyd in 1999, after which the State of NorthCarolina and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) undertook extensiveLiDAR data acquisition and technological developments for high-resolution floodplainmapping. An efficient algorithm is outlined for hydro-conditioning bare earth (BE) LiDARDEMs using available US Geological Survey1 National Hydrography Dataset (NHD)canal and ditch vectors. The methodology is illustrated in Moyock, North Carolina,for refinement of hydro-conditioning by combining pre-existing BE DEMs with spatialanalysis of LiDAR point clouds in segmented and buffered ditch and canal networks. Themethodology produces improved maps of fine-scale drainage, reduced omission of arealflood inundation, and subwatershed delineations that typify heavily ditched and canalleddrainage areas. These preliminary results illustrate the capability of the technique toimprove the representation of ditches in DEMs as well as subsequent flow and inundationmodeling that could spur further research on low-relief coastal LiDAR applications.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2015
LiDAR, hydrologic enforcement, inundation modeling, agricultural ditches, coastal plains

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