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Airborne radar imaging of subaqueous channel evolution in Wax Lake Delta, Louisiana, USA

Shaw, John B. and Ayoub, François and Jones, Cathleen E. and Lamb, Michael P. and Holt, Benjamin and Wagner, R. Wayne and Coffey, Thomas S. and Chadwick, J. Austin and Mohrig, David (2016) Airborne radar imaging of subaqueous channel evolution in Wax Lake Delta, Louisiana, USA. Geophysical Research Letters, 43 (10). pp. 5035-5042. ISSN 0094-8276.

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Shallow coastal regions are among the fastest evolving landscapes but are notoriously difficult to measure with high spatiotemporal resolution. Using Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar (UAVSAR) data, we demonstrate that high signal‐to‐noise L band synthetic aperture radar (SAR) can reveal subaqueous channel networks at the distal ends of river deltas. Using 27 UAVSAR images collected between 2009 and 2015 from the Wax Lake Delta in coastal Louisiana, USA, we show that under normal tidal conditions, planform geometry of the distributary channel network is frequently resolved in the UAVSAR images, including ~700 m of seaward network extension over 5 years for one channel. UAVSAR also reveals regions of subaerial and subaqueous vegetation, streaklines of biogenic surfactants, and what appear to be small distributary channels aliased by the survey grid, all illustrating the value of fine resolution, low noise, L band SAR for mapping the nearshore subaqueous delta channel network.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription
Ayoub, François0000-0002-7389-8400
Lamb, Michael P.0000-0002-5701-0504
Additional Information:© 2016 American Geophysical Union. Received 18 MAR 2016; Accepted 28 APR 2016; Accepted article online 2 MAY 2016; Published online 17 MAY 2016. We thank the GRL editor, Liviu Giosan, and two other anonymous reviewers who helped improve this manuscript. This research was supported by NASA under contract with Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the California Institute of Technology (grant to C.J., B.H., and M.L.), a NSF FESD Delta Dynamics Collaboratory to D.M. (EAR‐1135427), and a NSF Post‐doctoral Fellowship to J.S. (EAR‐1250045). UAVSAR data are courtesy NASA‐Jet Propulsion Laboratory/California Institute of Technology. UAVSAR images are available for download at Bathymetric DEMs from July 2010, February 2011, August 2011, and February 2012 are available in the data repository of Shaw [2013]. The February 2015 DEM is available in the supporting information.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NSF Postdoctoral FellowshipEAR-1250045
Subject Keywords:remote sensing; river delta; UAVSAR; surface films; currents; bathymetry
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20181126-125151687
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Shaw, J. B., F. Ayoub, C. E. Jones, M. P. Lamb, B. Holt, R. W. Wagner, T. S. Coffey, J. A. Chadwick, and D. Mohrig (2016), Airborne radar imaging of subaqueous channel evolution in Wax Lake Delta, Louisiana, USA, Geophys. Res. Lett., 43, 5035–5042, doi: 10.1002/2016GL068770.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:91170
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:26 Nov 2018 21:47
Last Modified:26 Nov 2018 21:47

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