Shoreline change and coastal vulnerability characterization with Landsat imagery: a case study in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland

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Abstract

Observation of cause-effect patterns of change in coastal environments provides insights into vulnerable areas and supports prediction and adaptation to flooding and erosion. Historic and periodic (6-8 year intervals) imagery from the Landsat archive is used to investigate transformations in the Atlantic coast of two Scottish islands over the period 1989-2011. Supervised classification of spectrally normalized images followed by change detection and spatial analysis reveals the patterns of change and the location of the most dynamic coastal areas. Quantitative measures of recent shifts and movement rates of relevant coastal lines, such as the lower limit of land-based vegetation are assessed with the Digital Shoreline Analysis System (DSAS). While very low rates are indicated for horizontal changes in the position of the lower limit of land-based vegetation (0.3 m y-1), specific areas have been subject to high rates of coastal progradation as well as erosion (e.g., 2.5 m y-1 at Stilligarry). Information derived from satellite data supports the characterization of geomorphologically dynamic coasts at regional scales. With a rich and open access archive of imagery, a commitment to continuity, and compatibility with the Earth observation missions of other space programs, the Landsat mission offers useful and otherwise unavailable data for monitoring of coastal areas.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-299
Number of pages21
JournalScottish Geographical Journal
Volume130
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2014

Fingerprint

shoreline change
Landsat
vulnerability
imagery
erosion
vegetation
coast
progradation
image classification
systems analysis
spatial analysis
coastal zone
satellite data
shoreline
open access
flooding
continuity
commitment
monitoring
prediction

Keywords

  • shoreline change
  • vulnerability
  • Landsat
  • spatial analysis
  • Digital Shoreline Analysis System
  • Scottish Outer Hebrides

Cite this

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title = "Shoreline change and coastal vulnerability characterization with Landsat imagery: a case study in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland",
abstract = "Observation of cause-effect patterns of change in coastal environments provides insights into vulnerable areas and supports prediction and adaptation to flooding and erosion. Historic and periodic (6-8 year intervals) imagery from the Landsat archive is used to investigate transformations in the Atlantic coast of two Scottish islands over the period 1989-2011. Supervised classification of spectrally normalized images followed by change detection and spatial analysis reveals the patterns of change and the location of the most dynamic coastal areas. Quantitative measures of recent shifts and movement rates of relevant coastal lines, such as the lower limit of land-based vegetation are assessed with the Digital Shoreline Analysis System (DSAS). While very low rates are indicated for horizontal changes in the position of the lower limit of land-based vegetation (0.3 m y-1), specific areas have been subject to high rates of coastal progradation as well as erosion (e.g., 2.5 m y-1 at Stilligarry). Information derived from satellite data supports the characterization of geomorphologically dynamic coasts at regional scales. With a rich and open access archive of imagery, a commitment to continuity, and compatibility with the Earth observation missions of other space programs, the Landsat mission offers useful and otherwise unavailable data for monitoring of coastal areas.",
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AU - Ritchie, William

AU - Green, David R.

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N2 - Observation of cause-effect patterns of change in coastal environments provides insights into vulnerable areas and supports prediction and adaptation to flooding and erosion. Historic and periodic (6-8 year intervals) imagery from the Landsat archive is used to investigate transformations in the Atlantic coast of two Scottish islands over the period 1989-2011. Supervised classification of spectrally normalized images followed by change detection and spatial analysis reveals the patterns of change and the location of the most dynamic coastal areas. Quantitative measures of recent shifts and movement rates of relevant coastal lines, such as the lower limit of land-based vegetation are assessed with the Digital Shoreline Analysis System (DSAS). While very low rates are indicated for horizontal changes in the position of the lower limit of land-based vegetation (0.3 m y-1), specific areas have been subject to high rates of coastal progradation as well as erosion (e.g., 2.5 m y-1 at Stilligarry). Information derived from satellite data supports the characterization of geomorphologically dynamic coasts at regional scales. With a rich and open access archive of imagery, a commitment to continuity, and compatibility with the Earth observation missions of other space programs, the Landsat mission offers useful and otherwise unavailable data for monitoring of coastal areas.

AB - Observation of cause-effect patterns of change in coastal environments provides insights into vulnerable areas and supports prediction and adaptation to flooding and erosion. Historic and periodic (6-8 year intervals) imagery from the Landsat archive is used to investigate transformations in the Atlantic coast of two Scottish islands over the period 1989-2011. Supervised classification of spectrally normalized images followed by change detection and spatial analysis reveals the patterns of change and the location of the most dynamic coastal areas. Quantitative measures of recent shifts and movement rates of relevant coastal lines, such as the lower limit of land-based vegetation are assessed with the Digital Shoreline Analysis System (DSAS). While very low rates are indicated for horizontal changes in the position of the lower limit of land-based vegetation (0.3 m y-1), specific areas have been subject to high rates of coastal progradation as well as erosion (e.g., 2.5 m y-1 at Stilligarry). Information derived from satellite data supports the characterization of geomorphologically dynamic coasts at regional scales. With a rich and open access archive of imagery, a commitment to continuity, and compatibility with the Earth observation missions of other space programs, the Landsat mission offers useful and otherwise unavailable data for monitoring of coastal areas.

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