Contouring Topography From Post Natural Hazard Lidar Collections

Authors: Lindsay Decker*, US Geological Survey - National Geospatial Technical Operations Center
Topics: Physical Geography, Human-Environment Geography, Hazards, Risks, and Disasters
Keywords: Contours,Elevation,Lidar,Topography changes,Hurricane Sandy,
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 5:20 PM / 7:00 PM
Room: Napoleon Foyer/Common St. Corridor, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The U.S. Geological Survey, National Geospatial Technical Operations Center (NGTOC) generates 1:24,000 scale contours from Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) depicting the current topography of the United States. Over time the topography changes, especially after a natural hazard, resulting in new contours being generated to accurately reflect this change. The NGTOC is continuously updating contours for the entire United States, using new lidar data. Lidar data is used to produce an extremely detailed DEM to generate the most accurate contours, which is extremely important in areas recently affected by a natural hazard. By contouring the topography after a natural hazard, the local populous is able to better plan and mitigate for a potential future hazard of the same type, and it provides valuable information of how the region was affected. The areas affected by Hurricane Sandy in 2012 are an example of this being completed on a large scale, covering most of the Eastern Seaboard. Lidar data was collected along Cape Henry and Virginia Beach, Virginia in 2012 prior to the hurricane and then again in 2015. Examples of contours from before and after the hurricane will be shown along with a brief discussion of how these contours are generated from a Lidar-based DEM. This specific area along the east coast depicts how much an ocean front can change after a hurricane in only 3 years, which is vital to the future success of all ocean front communities.

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