Airborne Laser Quantification of Florida Shoreline and Beach Volume Change Caused by Hurricanes Dissertation

(2007). Airborne Laser Quantification of Florida Shoreline and Beach Volume Change Caused by Hurricanes . 10.25148/etd.FI08081541

thesis or dissertation chair


  • Robertson, William


  • This dissertation combines three separate studies that measure coastal change using airborne laser data. The initial study develops a method for measuring subaerial and subaqueous volume change incrementally alongshore, and compares those measurements to shoreline change in order to quantify their relationship in Palm Beach County, Florida. A poor correlation (R2 = 0.39) was found between shoreline and volume change before the hurricane season in the northern section of Palm Beach County because of beach nourishment and inlet dynamics. However, a relatively high R2 value of 0.78 in the southern section of Palm Beach County was found due to little disturbance from tidal inlets and coastal engineering projects. The shoreline and volume change caused by the 2004 hurricane season was poorly correlated with R2 values of 0.02 and 0.42 for the north and south sections, respectively. The second study uses airborne laser data to investigate if there is a significant relationship between shoreline migration before and after Hurricane Ivan near Panama City, Florida. In addition, the relationship between shoreline change and subaerial volume was quantified and a new method for quantifying subaqueous sediment change was developed. No significant spatial relationship was found between shoreline migration before and after the hurricane. Utilization of a single coefficient to represent all relationships between shoreline and subaerial volume change was found to be problematic due to the spatial variability in the linear relationship. Differences in bathymetric data show only a small portion of sediment was transported beyond the active zone and most sediment remained within the active zone despite the occurrence of a hurricane. The third study uses airborne laser bathymetry to measure the offshore limit of change, and compares that location with calculated depth of closures and subaqueous geomorphology. There appears to be strong geologic control of the depth of closure in Broward and Miami-Dade Counties. North of Hillsboro Inlet, hydrodynamics control the geomorphology which in turn indicates the location of the depth of closure.

publication date

  • March 8, 2007


  • GIS
  • depth of closure
  • shoreline change
  • volume change

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)