Comments on Hydrographic and Topographic LIDAR Acquisition and Merging with Multibeam Sounding Data Acquired in the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary
Steven S. Intelmann
Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, NOAA
In April 2005, a SHOALS 1000T LIDAR system was used as an efficient alternative for safely acquiring data to describe the existing conditions of nearshore bathymetry and the intertidal zone over an approximately 40.7 km 2 (11.8 nm2) portion of hazardous coastline within the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary (OCNMS). Data were logged from 1,593 km (860 nm) of track lines in just over 21 hours of flight time. Several islands and offshore rocks were also surveyed, and over 24,000 geo-referenced digital still photos were captured to assist with data cleaning and QA/QC. The 1 kHz bathymetry laser obtained a maximum water depth of 22.2 meters. Floating kelp beds, breaking surf lines and turbid water were all challenges to the survey.
Although sea state was favorable for this time of the year, recent heavy rainfall and a persistent low-lying layer of fog reduced acquisition productivity. The existence of a completed VDatum model covering this same geographic region permitted the LIDAR data to be vertically transformed and merged with existing shallow water multibeam data and referenced to the mean lower low water (MLLW) tidal datum. Analysis of a multibeam bathymetry-LIDAR difference surface containing over 44,000 samples indicated surface deviations from -24.3 to 8.48 meters, with a mean difference of -0.967 meters, and standard deviation of 1.762 meters.
Errors in data cleaning and false detections due to interference from surf, kelp, and turbidity likely account for the larger surface separations, while the remaining general surface difference trend could partially be attributed to a more dense data set, and shoal-biased cleaning, binning and gridding associated with the multibeam data for maintaining conservative least depths important for charting dangers to navigation.
Keywords: Hydrographic LIDAR, Topographic LIDAR, SHOALS, multibeam, VDatum, Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary