Determining ridge and runnel longshore migration rate using Spot imagery

Research areas:
Year:
2002
Keywords:
Remote, sensing
Authors:
  • Virginie Lafon
  • Hélène Dupuis
  • Hélène Howa
  • Jean-Marie Froidefond
Journal:
Oceanologica Acta
Volume:
25
Number:
3{\textend
Pages:
149 - 158
Month:
2002
ISSN:
0399-1784
BibTex:
Abstract:
High-resolution colour satellite imagery is used to map the morphology and to determine the longshore movements of intertidal ridge and runnel systems that characterise the Atlantic southwest coast of France. A couple of Spot images recorded during the summer of 1989 are processed to extract accurate geographical maps of the coastline defined, in this study, as the level corresponding to the lowest astronomical tide. The coastline extraction method is based on a reflectance model, providing depth measurements that were calibrated in the field. This method enables us to map the coastline regardless of the tide level above the lowest astronomical tide at the moment of the image capture. As this model can be extrapolated to a large area when sea water is clear (considering a restricted range of suspended matter concentration) and bottom colour is homogeneous, the variability of both water turbidity and bottom colour have been analysed on the images. From the remotely sensed coastlines, a statistical analysis of ridge and runnel system length and longshore migration has been performed for a 35 km long coastline located to the north of the Arcachon lagoon inlet. It has been observed that, during the summer of 1989 characterised by fair weather conditions, the typical ridge and runnel morphology remains nearly conservative. Whereas the ridge and runnel mean wavelength remains constant during the summer between 435 and 430 m, about 84\% of the systems move southward at the mean rate of 2.4 m d{\textendash}1. These results derived from Spot image analysis were validated by in situ topographic surveys undertaken during similar hydrodynamical conditions.