Determining carbonate content in coastal sands of SE Florida using field and remote spectral reflectance data

Authors: Molly Smith*, Florida Atlantic University, Caiyun Zhang, Florida Atlantic University, Anton Oleinik, Florida Atlantic University
Topics: Remote Sensing, Coastal and Marine, Marine and Coastal Resources
Keywords: remote sensing, sedimentology, GIS, sand, shoreline protection
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 3:20 PM / 5:00 PM
Room: Muses, Sheraton, 8th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Sand is an ever-important material for coastal South Florida; recent hurricanes have reshaped the coastline and have necessitated the inventorying of sand supplies for beach protection projects and post-hurricane recovery. Traditional geological sand compositional analysis is a necessary but time-consuming component of coastal engineering and research projects. Airborne and satellite sensor-derived data has been shown to accurately predict geologic materials present on the ground, although this technology and methodology has not been extensively applied to identification of sand composition. This study seeks to apply field and laboratory spectral reflectance data to multispectral beach imagery in order to predict and quantify carbonate material content of Southeast Florida beaches, where there exists a gradual transition between predominantly terrigenous to predominately carbonate sedimentation moving south along the coast. Field-collected sand samples and laboratory spectral reflectance are used to correlate sand composition to spectral features in imagery using methods that include continuum-removal and derivative analysis, and spectral feature fitting (SFF) and spectral angle mapper (SAM). Results are tested with mineral abundance algorithms to predict generalized beach composition. Detection of carbonate content is of particular importance for this region because changes to the coastal system could negatively impact beach appearance, resilience, and the wildlife in which it supports—especially in regard to threatened and endangered species of sea turtles. The methods utilized here are intended to aid in beach conservation and protection by streamlining the steps necessary to identify appropriate fill sand for nourishment projects.

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