Advances in Remote Sensing of Coastal Wetlands: LiDAR, SAR, and Object-Oriented Case Studies from North Carolina

  • Thomas R. AllenEmail author
Part of the Coastal Research Library book series (COASTALRL, volume 9)


Coastal wetlands provide crucial ecosystem services to society including pollution filtration, fish and wildlife nursery and habitat, storm surge mitigation, and sinks for atmospheric carbon. Uncertainty of wetland responses to sea-level rise is a pervasive concern in coastal science and management. Advances in Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR), space-borne Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), and multi-sensor and object-oriented image analysis techniques are poised to aid the inventorying, monitoring and management of wetlands to an even greater extent. This chapter reviews developments and coastal wetland applications of these state of the art remote sensing data and techniques and evaluates the utility of these products for management of coastal reserves in case studies. Following concise review of the literature on remote sensing technological and image processing advances, case studies from North Carolina coastal wetlands are presented: (1) multidate SAR and LiDAR imagery for regional salt marsh mapping in Cedar Island National Wildlife Refuge, (2) object-based image analysis (OBIA) for transitional marshes and Phragmites australis inventory in Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, and (3) very fine resolution barrier island mapping using multisensor and multidate imagery and OBIA techniques in the Rachel Carson Coastal Reserve. Drawing upon these developments and case studies, insights for practical applications are evaluated to further even wider application to coastal management.


Normalize Difference Vegetation Index Salt Marsh Coastal Wetland Synthetic Aperture Radar Submerged Aquatic Vegetation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geography, Planning, & EnvironmentEast Carolina UniversityGreenvilleUSA

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