EARSeL eProceedings Vol. 3, No. 1, 26-33, 2004

Sand dynamics along the Belgian coast based on airborne hyperspectral data and lidar data
Bart Deronde, Rik Houthuys, Sindy Sterckx, Walter Debruyn and Dirk Fransaer

The goal of this project was to explore the possibilities of airborne hyperspectral data and airborne lidar data to study sand dynamics on the Belgian backshore and foreshore. The Belgian coast is formed by a sandy strip at the southern edge of the North Sea Basin which is commonly known as the Southern Bight. Since the beach is prone to structural and occasional erosion, it is very important to obtain a better understanding of the processes controlling it. The combination of multi-temporal hyperspectral data and lidar data provides a suitable tool for follow-up of the Belgian coastline, and sandy coastlines in general. Hyperspectral imagery generates a reflectance spectrum for each pixel in the image. The shape of this spectrum is influenced by the composition of the topsoil of the beach, being mainly the mineralogical composition and the grain size. A Spectral Angle Mapper (SAM) algorithm was used to perform a supervised classification of the hyperspectral images in order to distinguish between different sand types. Digital terrain models (DTM's) with a mean vertical accuracy of 5 cm were generated from lidar data. By differencing a DTM from September 2000 and one from September 2001 a map with sedimentation and erosion zones was generated. By combining the erosion/sedimentation map with the classified hyperspectral images, dating from August 2000 and August 2001, an appropriate and cost-effective method was found for studying the processes of sand transport along the Belgian coastline.

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Submitted: 07 June 2003
Revised: 08 January 2004
Accepted: 18 January 2004

Deronde B, R Houthuys, S Sterckx, W Debruyn & D Fransaer, 2004. Sand dynamics along the Belgian coast based on airborne hyperspectral data and lidar data. EARSeL eProceedings 3(1), 26-33


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