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Estuarine shoreline change detection using Japanese ALOS PALSAR HH and JERS-1 L-HH SAR data in the Albemarle-Pamlico Sounds, North Carolina, USA

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An edge extraction model has been developed that uses multitemporal satellite synthetic aperture radar data to delineate shorelines in estuaries. Using Japanese ALOS PALSAR HH data acquired in December 2006 and JERS-1 L-HH SAR data in December 1994, we mapped shorelines of the outer Pamlico Peninsula, Dare County, North Carolina, USA, spanning 12 years. To assess the validity and accuracy of the delineation, we compared (a) 1994 shorelines versus those derived from the 1993 digital orthophotographs, and (b) 2006 shorelines versus field data collected in February 2007. With promising results, we then analysed and quantified the shoreline changes between 1994 and 2006 on the north, east, and south sides of the Peninsula. Virtually no discernible changes on the north and south sides were found. However, significant landward migration in the middle to southern portion on the east shore was observed. Spatial retreat of shorelines varied greatly, with the maximum rate averaged over a span of 12 years exceeding 11 m year-1. The results support further monitoring of shorelines in estuaries using active remote sensing and the potential for the methodology developed to identify erosional hotspots.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Geography, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27858

Publication date: January 1, 2008

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