Earth Observation Based Assessment of Area Changes Related to Hurricane Events

Barrier islands are elongated sand-based coastal landforms that are separated by open water from the main land.This study briefly discussed herein builds upon a previous DEVELOP project completed in the fall of 2009. The previous study utilized Landsat and ASTER imagery to create 21 land cover maps of Dauphin Island between the years of 1983 and 2009. Results from the previous project indicated that Dauphin Island’s land and vegetation area has been in a gradual state of decline over the last two-and-one-half decades.

This project added to these findings by increasing the observed study period to 1972-2010 and by incorporating multidate Lidar elevation imagery to measure island change at a finer spatial scale. The main objectives of this study were to 1) Measure land area change of the island from 1972 to 2010, with special emphasis on the area surrounding the bird sanctuary and Dauphin Island’s fishing pier, which recently has been unusable since the merging of Sand Island to Dauphin Island. 2) Measure vegetation area change on the island from 1972 to 2010. 3) Investigate the impact of hurricanes on the island’s land and vegetation area change. 4) Provide the results of this study to the Dauphin Island Park and Beach Board (DIP&BB).

The following remote sensing data have been used in this study: Multispectral Scanner (MSS) aboard the Landsat 1-3 satellites, the Thematic Mapper (TM) aboard the Landsat 4-5 satellites, the ASTER instrument aboard the Terra satellite, and the Advanced Land imager (ALI) aboard the EO-1 satellite. Landsat TM and MSS, and ALI data were obtained from the USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center. ASTER imagery was acquired through NASA’s Warehouse Inventory Search Tool (WIST). These data were utilized to observe the land and vegetation area change.

Published by: Earthzine on March 6, 2011
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