Integration of Satellite and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Imagery to Assess Geomorphological Response to Hurricane Florence on Northern Masonboro Island, NC

Authors: Kat Tregaskis*, University of North Carolina - Wilmington, Eman Ghoneim, University of North Carolina - Wilmington, Lynn Leonard, University of North Carolina - Wilmington, Joseph Long, University of North Carolina - Wilmington, Andrea Hawkes, University of North Carolina - Wilmington, Devon Eulie, University of North Carolina - Wilmington, Jeffery Canaday, University of North Carolina - Wilmington
Topics: Geomorphology, Spatial Analysis & Modeling, Remote Sensing
Keywords: remote sensing, DSAS, change-detection, Hurricane Florence, coasts, storms
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


With about 40 percent of the global population residing within 60 miles of the ocean and nearly 10 percent living at or below 10 meters above sea level, there is increasing pressure to monitor and understand coastal processes as they relate to extreme weather events and environmental stress. Along many parts of the Atlantic and Gulf coasts barrier islands act as buffers protecting mainland coastline communities and estuaries from extreme storm events. Quantifying how these barriers respond to extreme events will allow coastal managers to better understand future vulnerability and resilience. On September 14, 2018, Hurricane Florence made landfall in southeastern North Carolina near Masonboro Island, a 5,653 acre undeveloped barrier island managed by the North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve (NCNERR). Hurricane force winds and elevated water levels caused changes to the foreshore beach and erosion and overwash of the primary sand dunes. These processes resulted in the translation of the ocean and estuarine shorelines and lowering of primary sand dunes that may increase the island’s vulnerability to future storms. This study combines high resolution Worldview-2 and Worldview-4 satellite imagery and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) imagery to measure the response of Masonboro Island to Hurricane Florence. Remote sensing and GIS methods, including Digital Shoreline Mapping and Analysis Systems (DMAS/DSAS) and Geomorphic Change Detection (GCD) were used to quantify changes to the island’s structural characteristics such as backbarrier overwash extent, dune migration, and volumetric changes.

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