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Open Access Active-Passive Spaceborne Data Fusion for Mapping Nearshore Bathymetry

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"In anticipation of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) ICESat-2 mission, which will employ the Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS), a 532 nm photon-counting Light Detection and Ranging (lidar), we demonstrate a spaceborne data-fusion approach that has the potential to significantly shrink the global nearshore data gap often referred to as the "white ribbon". Bathymetry algorithms relying on multispectral imagery are conventionally limited by the availability of in situ reference depths, particularly in remote or difficult-to-map areas. Therefore, a completely spaceborne approach could greatly extend the usefulness of such algorithms. The approach is tested with data from NASA's airborne ICESat-2 ATLAS simulator, Multiple Altimeter Beam Experimental Lidar (MABEL), and passive optical imagery from Landsat-8 using an existing spectral-ratio algorithm. The output bathymetric data set agrees with high-resolution Fugro LADS MK II bathymetric data to within an RMS difference of 1.1 m. The spatiotemporal variability of areas where this spaceborne data-fusion approach will potentially be useful is evaluated, based on worldwide coastal water clarity as interpreted from Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) Kd(490) data.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2019

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  • The official journal of the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing - the Imaging and Geospatial Information Society (ASPRS). This highly respected publication covers all facets of photogrammetry and remote sensing methods and technologies.

    Founded in 1934, the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) is a scientific association serving over 7,000 professional members around the world. Our mission is to advance knowledge and improve understanding of mapping sciences to promote the responsible applications of photogrammetry, remote sensing, geographic information systems (GIS), and supporting technologies.
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