Originator: U.S. Geological Survey
Title: EAARL Coastal Topography--Pearl River Delta 2008: Bare Earth
Geospatial_Data_Presentation_Form: remote-sensing image
Series_Name: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series
Publication_Place: Saint Petersburg, FL
Publisher: U.S. Geological Survey
A bare earth elevation map (also known as a Digital Elevation Model, or DEM) of the Pearl River Delta in Louisiana and Mississippi was produced from remotely sensed, geographically referenced elevation measurements cooperatively by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the University of New Orleans (UNO), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Elevation measurements were collected over the area using the NASA Experimental Advanced Airborne Research Lidar (EAARL), a pulsed-laser ranging system mounted onboard an aircraft to measure ground elevation, vegetation canopy, and coastal topography. The system uses high-frequency laser beams directed at the Earth's surface through an opening in the bottom of the aircraft's fuselage. The laser system records the time difference between emission of the laser beam and the reception of the reflected laser signal in the aircraft. The plane travels over the target area at approximately 50 meters per second at an elevation of approximately 300 meters. The EAARL, developed by NASA at Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, measures ground elevation with a vertical resolution of 15 centimeters. A sampling rate of 3 kilohertz or higher results in an extremely dense spatial elevation dataset. Over 100 kilometers of coastline can be easily surveyed within a 3- to 4-hour mission. When subsequent elevation maps for an area are analyzed, they provide resource managers with a useful tool regarding land development.
The purpose of this project was to produce a highly detailed and accurate bare earth elevation map of the Pearl River Delta in Louisiana and Mississippi for natural resource managers and research scientists.
Raw Lidar data are not in a format that is generally usable by resource managers and scientists for scientific analysis. Converting dense Lidar elevation data into a readily usable format without loss of essential information requires specialized processing. The U.S. Geological Survey's Coastal and Marine Geology (CMG) Program has developed custom software to convert raw Lidar data into a GIS-compatible map product to be provided to GIS specialists, managers, and scientists. The primary tool used in the conversion process is Airborne Lidar Processing System (ALPS), a multi-tiered processing system developed by a USGS-NASA collaborative project. Specialized processing algorithms are used to convert raw waveform Lidar data acquired by the EAARL to georeferenced spot (x,y,z) returns for "first surface" and "bare earth" topography. These data are then converted to the North American Datum of 1983 and the North American Vertical Datum of 1988 (using the GEOID03 model). Each file contains data located in a 2-km by 2-km tile, where the upper-left bound can be assessed quickly through the file name. The first 3 numbers in the file name represent the left-most UTM easting coordinate (e###000) in meters, the next 4 numbers represent the top-most UTM northing coordinate (n####000) in meters, and the last 2 numbers (##) represent the UTM zone in which the tile is located (for example, be_e123_n4567_18). The development of custom software for creating these data products has been supported by the U.S. Geological Survey CMG Program's Decision Support for Coastal Parks, Sanctuaries, and Preserves Project. Processed data products are used by the U.S. Geological Survey CMG Program's National Assessments of Coastal Change Hazards Project to quantify the vulnerability of shorelines to coastal change hazards such as severe storms, sea-level rise, and shoreline erosion and retreat.
Currentness_Reference: ground condition
Maintenance_and_Update_Frequency: None planned
Theme_Keyword_Thesaurus: USGS Metadata Identifier
Theme_Keyword: Airborne Lidar Processing System
Theme_Keyword: Digital Elevation Model
Theme_Keyword: Experimental Advanced Airborne Research Lidar
Theme_Keyword: laser altimetry
Theme_Keyword: remote sensing
Theme_Keyword_Thesaurus: USGS Thesaurus
Theme_Keyword: digital elevation models
Place_Keyword: Pearl River Delta
Place_Keyword: Northern Gulf of Mexico
The U.S. Geological Survey, University of New Orleans, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration request to be acknowledged as originators of this dataset in future products or derivative research.
Contact_Person: Amar Nayegandhi
Contact_Position: Computer Scientist
Jacobs Technology, U.S. Geological Survey, FISC, St. Petersburg, FL
Address_Type: mailing and physical address
Contact_Voice_Telephone: 727 803-8747 (x3026)
Hours_of_Service: M-F, 8:00-5:00 EST
Address: 600 4th Street South
City: Saint Petersburg
Acknowledgment of the U.S. Geological Survey, Florida Integrated Science Center, as a data source would be appreciated in products developed from these data, and such acknowledgment as is standard for citation and legal practices for data source is expected. Sharing of new data layers developed directly from these data would also be appreciated by the U.S. Geological Survey staff. Users should be aware that comparisons with other datasets for the same area from other time periods may be inaccurate due to inconsistencies resulting from changes in photointerpretation, mapping conventions, and digital processes over time. These data are not legal documents and are not to be used as such.
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