Hurricane Sandy Change Analysis in Barnegat Bay with EAARL-B Topobathymetric Lidar Waveform Data

Christopher Parrish
Associate Professor of Geomatics

School of Civil and Construction Engineering
Oregon State University

Friday, Jul. 24, 2015, 3:00pm
Chase 130

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, federal agencies undertook extensive mapping efforts in the impacted areas. One of the most notable datasets was acquired by USGS in Barnegat Bay, New Jersey, with the new EAARL-B topobathymetric lidar system. Lidar data were collected for nearly the entire estuary just days before Sandy made landfall and again within one week after the storm, providing unique opportunities for assessing change.
Additionally, the EAARL-B provides full waveforms (time series of backscattered pulse energy) for each pulse and each receiver channel.

In this presentation, I will discuss the results of work conducted to: 1) add functionality for extracting computationally-simple waveform features to the EAARL-B Airborne Lidar Processing Software (ALPS); 2) develop new tools and procedures for using these waveform features in seafloor mapping; and 3) generate pre- and post-Sandy EAARL-B relative reflectance mosaics for Barnegat Bay. Through ongoing collaboration with colleagues at CCOM-JHC, the results of this work are currently being used to assess seagrass habitat change resulting from Sandy in Barnegat Bay. I will conclude with an overview of my current research at Oregon State University, including mapping with multirotor UAVs and a new project involving bathymetry retrieval from space-based, photon-counting lidar.


Chris Parrish holds a Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering with an emphasis in geospatial information engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an M.S. in Civil and Coastal Engineering with an emphasis in geomatics from the University of Florida. His research focuses on full-waveform LiDAR, topographic-bathymetric LiDAR, hyperspectral imagery, uncertainty modeling, and UAVs for coastal applications. Parrish is the Director of the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) LiDAR Division and associate editor of the journal Marine Geodesy. Prior to joining OSU, he served as lead physical scientist in the Remote Sensing Division of NOAA’s National Geodetic Survey and affiliate professor in the Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping – Joint Hydrographic Center at University of New Hampshire.