Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

LIDAR applications in coastal morphology and hazard assessment

Date:
November 23, 2010
Source:
National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (UK)
Summary:
Scientists have used a sophisticated optical mapping technique to identify and accurately measure changes in coastal morphology following a catastrophic series of landslides.

“Our findings are important for assessing geological hazards and reducing the dangers to human settlements,” said geophysicist Professor Jon Bull of the University of Southampton’s School of Ocean and Earth Science based at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton.

Related Articles


geological hazards and reducing the dangers to human settlements,” said geophysicist Professor Jon Bull of the University of Southampton’s School of Ocean and Earth Science based at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton.

Matata is a small coastal town located on the Bay of Plenty at the northern end of New Zealand’s North Island close to a highly active volcanic zone. On 18 May 2005, the town was inundated by devastating debris flows. These flows resulted from torrential rain that triggered widespread landslips in the catchments of the Awatarariki and Waitepuru streams in the steeply rising hills behind the town.

Debris flows are liquefied landslides of water-saturated material that flow very rapidly down steep-sided channels. In the case of the 2005 Matata event, boulders, logs and other debris were carried by the flows, which also swept away cars and even whole buildings, although fortunately no-one was killed. The material eventually spilt out along the coast where it was deposited to form a large fan-like sediment deposit.

To help understand the complex pattern of sediment deposition, the researchers compared information obtained using a technique called Light Detection and Ranging technology (LIDAR) before and after the 2005 event.

“LIDAR uses the time taken for reflected light to return from objects or surfaces to determine the range, in a similar manner to radar. It can be used to monitor coastal evolution, and to identify and precisely measure landform changes resulting from geological events such as landslides,” explained Helen Miller, who worked on the project during her MSc project, and is now a PhD student at Southampton.

Based on LIDAR, eye-witness accounts, field investigations and aerial photographic surveys, theresearchers estimate that debris flows sourced in the Awatarariki stream transported at least 350,000 cubic metres of debris.

The researchers were able to map the sediment flow paths in detail, along with changes caused by the clear-up operation and the creation of man-made levees after the debris flow event. Their observations show that the final shape of the debris fan, as well as spatial differences in make-up and consistency, were largely influenced by existing physical features such as sand dunes.

“The use of LIDAR for debris flow hazard analysis is still in its early days, but it has the advantage of giving a synoptic view over a large area.” said Bull. “Ours is one of the first studies using ‘before and after’ comparisons of LIDAR data to assess changes in coastal morphology.”

The researchers are Jon Bull, Helen Miller and Justin Dix (SOES), Darren Gravley (Universityof Canterbury, Christchurch),Daniel Costello and Dan Hikuroa (University of Auckland).

Helen Miller was supported by the University of Southampton (Richard Newitt Bursary) and the Society for Underwater Technology (Educational Support Fund).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (UK). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. J.M. Bull, H. Miller, D.M. Gravley, D. Costello, D.C.H. Hikuroa, J.K. Dix. Assessing debris flows using LIDAR differencing: 18 May 2005 Matata event, New Zealand. Geomorphology, 2010; 124 (1-2): 75 DOI: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2010.08.011

Cite This Page:

National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (UK). "LIDAR applications in coastal morphology and hazard assessment." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 November 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101123102401.htm>.
National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (UK). (2010, November 23). LIDAR applications in coastal morphology and hazard assessment. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 6, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101123102401.htm
National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (UK). "LIDAR applications in coastal morphology and hazard assessment." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101123102401.htm (accessed March 6, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, March 6, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Driverless Budii Gives the Wheel Feel

Driverless Budii Gives the Wheel Feel

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 6, 2015) The Rinspeed Budii Concept car is creating a driverless stir at this year&apos;s Geneva car show. It&apos;s an all-electric autonomous vehicle with a difference. Ciara Lee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Star Wars Inspires Mobile Holograms

Star Wars Inspires Mobile Holograms

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 6, 2015) 3D holograms could soon be coming to your mobile phone. Inspired by the famous Princess Leia hologram from Star Wars, a U.S. company is showcasing a prototype display at the Mobile World Congress at Barcelona and says it could be used for real-time video calls. Ivor Bennett reports Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Game Makers Lured Into Virtual Worlds

Game Makers Lured Into Virtual Worlds

AFP (Mar. 6, 2015) Some 25,000 people have descended upon San Francisco to show off the latest technologies and video games at the Game Developers Conference. Developers here discuss the future of the industry. Duration: 02:20. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gas Production Cut on Earthquake Fears

Gas Production Cut on Earthquake Fears

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 5, 2015) The Dutch government has cut production at Europe&apos;s largest gas field in Groningen amid concerns over earthquakes which are damaging local churches. As Amy Pollock reports the decision - largely politically-motivated - could have big economic conseqeunces. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins