Derivation of a Tidal Inundation Model to Support Environmental Research in Roebuck Bay (Western Australia)
A method for deriving mean inundation times for a large expanse of intertidal mudflats is presented. Image processing techniques are used to extract waterlines from two Landsat Thematic Mapper scenes at approximately high and low tides, respectively. Along with data based on standard tidal predictions, the waterlines are utilised to derive an initial Digital Elevation Model (DEM) for the tidal flat within a GIS environment. As the model fails to fully cover the mean spring tidal range, a routine is developed to linearly extrapolate this surface to the elevation of the mean spring low tide. Tidal interpolation equations are then utilised to generate an inundation time in hours for each cell on this extrapolated DEM. Output from the generalised model is a series of maps showing isolines of inundation for both the mean spring and neap tidal cycles, as well as sets of point data that may be integrated with existing biological sample data. These data will be used to support an ongoing geologic and biologic investigation of the bay and its ecology.
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