SPECIAL SESSION: GIS in Marine and Coastal Environments I, II, III, and IV
organized by D. Wright (OrSt) and T. Vance (OrSt and NOAA)
co-sponsored by the GIS and Coastal and Marine Geography Specialty Groups
Association of American Geographers Centennial Meeting
Philadelphia, March 14-19, 2004
Wednesday, 3/17/04, 8:00 a.m. to 4:40 p.m., Meeting Room TBD
This session is devoted to principles, techniques, and applications of GIS in the marine and coastal realm, highlighting the various ways in which geographers are contributing to this evolving field of research, including:
This series of papers is a continuation of the session of the same theme at last year's AAG in New Orleans, and a continuation of sorts of the "GIS in Support of Marine Protected Areas, Reserves and Sanctuaries" sessions held in 2002 at AAG-Los Angeles, and in 2001 at AAG-New York City.
- marine and coastal data models and data structures
- metadata, data exchange and archiving issues for marine and coastal GIS (including the coastal NSDI)
- web GIS for marine and coastal data
- innovative techniques for marine/coastal data conversion, display, modeling in GIS
- questions in basic & applied marine science that have been derived, addressed and/or elucidated by GIS
- mapping and benthic habitat characterization
- marine sanctuaries and protected areas
- 3- and 4-dimensional visualization, simulation, analysis of the marine environment
- integration of spatial analysis with policy, legal and/or economic issues, particularly in the coastal zone
- historical studies employing GIS (nautical archaeology, law of the sea, maritime boundaries)
- ocean literacy, K-16 education and outreach
Click title above to view full abstract in another window.
With the creation of ESRI's Geodatabase and the Marine Data Model, a data structure is in place that can support the inclusion of 2D and 3D numerical model results into a Geodatabase. Therefore providing a greater integration between numerical model results and other physical data stored in a Geodatabase. Ultimately providing a greater integration between the marine modeling and GIS softwares. Primarily, 2D and 3D model results exist in some raster format. By generating a vector representation of those results and storing that data in a Geodatabase, not only makes the data format generic and accessible to other applications of the database, but also provides users with many possibilities for query the results. This gives the user closer integration between the model results and other physical data types, capabilities for querying the data either spatially or by scalar and by time-period, easier editing of scalar or vector values based upon the impact of other physical features or phenomena. For example, being able to query multiple bathymetries simultaneously, querying for areas where wave heights have been exceeded or where wave periods have reached their limit of resonance and then visualizing this data in ArcGIS provides the user with many opportunities for micro-analysis of the results. A number of examples will be presented showing the relation between DHI's numerical models and ArcGIS.
Oceanographic features are a phenomena of both the open ocean and the
shelf seas where two distinct bodies of water with differing physical,
chemical and biological characteristics meet.
The surface signature of such features can be identified from remotely sensed data. In this case a 7 year time series of surface positions derived from sea surface temperature data have been analysed using GIS based analysis techniques developed by the author. The techniques developed are equally applicable to other indicators of ocean features such as chlorophyll or suspended sediment.
Analysis is vector based and has been developed using ESRI ArcObjects. Raw signal data is converted to polylines using a custom filter, features are then analysed by overlaying a polygon grid, and statistics are generated for each grid cell based on the number of intersecting features and the attributes of those features.
The most important oceanographic features are those that are both persistent and strong. By normalising the number of features intersecting a grid cell with the mean strength of those features it is possible to identify where the most significant features occur. Seasonal and monthly analyses allow for assessment of the temporal variability of these locations.
All maritime space (including the territorial sea and continental shelf) is measured from a State's coastal baseline. This baseline is clearly defined by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS) as "the low-water line along
the coast as measured on large-scale charts officially recognised by the coastal
Nautical charts are used as the fundamental source for the definition of all maritime spaces, but are not specifically designed for this purpose and have many associated problems. Although simple in concept, the strict application of UNCLOS poses many practical problems:
What is meant by a large-scale chart?
What constitutes "official recognition by the State"?
How accurate are the charts?
What is the low water line?
Modern technology in the form of accurate positioning, satellite imagery and GIS has the potential to resolve some of these problems, but in practice often serves only to emphasise the shortcomings of the charts. Furthermore, data other than official charts are not legally admissible for the definition of coastal baselines.
Exploitation of offshore oil and gas resources, where ocean space can be valued at millions of dollars per metre, has driven many of the international boundary delimitations, but there are still many areas where the ownership of resources is indeterminate or disputed. As the quest for oil goes into the outer reaches of the continental shelves (out to 350 miles and beyond) the requirements for accurate delineation of maritime space becomes crucial.
Keywords: territorial sea, continental shelf, coastline, charts, baselines, maritime delimitation, oil
NOAA's Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory hosts a vast array of global ocean observing data. One of the most widely sought data sets is data from the TAO/TRITON array of fixed buoys in the Equatorial Pacific. The array of 70 moored buoys transmit data that are used by oceanographers, modelers and forecasters to improve detection, understanding and prediction of El Nino and La Nina. TAO/TRITON data have been available to researchers and the public via the WWW since 1995. In 2003, PMEL and ESRI have worked to bring this dataset into a GIS format and to make it available via ESRI's Geography Network. The Geography Network serves as a portal for GIS users and providers by providing the infrastructure for users to share and disseminate geospatial data through the use of webservices, downloadable data and dynamic mapping. TAO/TRITON data are now available to a wider audience using the Geography Network. Updated data are available to users on a daily basis. Base layers such as TAO buoys locations and typhoon and hurricane tracks are also available.
Our next step will be to add historical data from recent El Nino and La Nina events for comparison.
ArcGlobe, a part of ESRI's ArcGIS suite, provides GIS users the ability to visualize multiscale global data in a 3D world. This presentation will demonstrate the ability to add Map Services, Geography Network data, in-situ data and other NOAA observation platform information in the ArcGlobe application for dissemination of global data in a variety of formats.
A recent collaboration within the National Ocean Service (NOS) is bent on creating an educational, first person perspective 3D thinking-adventure game about ocean exploration by the spring of 2004. The design model for this prototype is the beautiful yet simple first-generation "thinking game," like Myst and Riven. It is intended for a curious and intelligent general public audience at a high school, college and adult level. In this presentation, we will focus on some of the behind-the-scenes aspects that went into the creation of this prototype including: how marine science, art & literature, ocean engineering and other multidisciplinary fields of inquiry informed the script and storyboards; some technical aspects of 3D GIS and 3D animation in modeling ocean environments and sea technology; and finally, an explanation for why we chose to produce this sort of 3D thinking-adventure game.
The coastal component of the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS)
currently being implemented will be composed of the "national backbone" of
federal observing systems, combined with regional ocean observing systems.
The national backbone will maintain and operate the observational and data
management infrastructure, including establishing standards and protocols
for measurements, and data exchange and management procedures to insure
rapid access to data from geographically diverse sources. As part of
this effort, The National Coastal Data Development Center (NCDDC) will
facilitate coastal observational data discovery and access, data aggregation
and display, metadata management, and data archival.
As a proof of concept, NCDDC with the cooperation of the National Data Buoy Center (NDBC) and the Gulf of Maine Observing System (GoMOOS) geospatially enabled observations from these two systems. The observations are grouped for viewing into one of three possible categories: 1) surface marine measurements, such as wind speed and direction, air temperature, and significant wave height; 2) physical ocean measurements, such as water temperature, salinity, and current speed and direction; and 3) chemical and bio-optical measurements, such as chlorophyll, dissolved oxygen, and turbidity. The resulting assimilation of observational data are automatically added into a geodatabase (Oracle and ESRI's ArcSDE) on an hourly basis and can be accessed via a graphic on-line mapping interface (ESRI's ArcIMS). Internet users can retrieve up to 48 hours worth of data from a particular station as an HTML table from the ArcIMS site. An internet user can dynamically generate labels on the map interface, and base these labels on the type of observation (wind speed, wind direction, water temperature, etc) within a specific time frame (current hour, one hour ago, two hours ago, etc). The latest observational updates can be accessed from the map as a mouseover feature.
HABSOS is a collaborative project between the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),
NOAA's NCDDC, and over 30 other federal, state, academic and industry organizations. Most recently, the Mexican gulf states have joined HABSOS resulting in a true international collaboration to monitor HAB dynamics without regard to political boundaries.
The purpose of HABSOS is to provide an Internet-based information and communication system for collecting, processing and disseminating data and information. HABSOS provides a visualization of data using ESRI's ArcIMS. HABSOS has been customized to fit the needs of the HABSOS Case Study Working Group, which included the case study years of 1996, 1997, and 2000. In this application, a time series function was developed to let the users look at cell count data for the years 1996, 1997, and 2000 for all the Gulf of Mexico states. The user may also view SeaWifs imagery for the years 1996, 1997, or 2000 or AVHRR imagery for 2000 that relates to the selected time chosen for viewing cell counts.
Keywords: harmful algal blooms, red tide, HAB monitoring, Gulf of Mexico
Click title above to view full abstract in another window.
A Geographic Information System (GIS) was developed to assess topography and disseminate data for the Oculina Habitat Area of Particular Concern (HAPC). The GIS is distributed on cdrom as well as on the project website (www.uncw.edu/oculina). Two analyses were performed to determine if topographic changes occurred between the 1960s (NOS bathymetry), 1995 (sidescan sonar survey), 2001 (submarine videography cruise) and 2002 (multibeam bathymetry). Habitat classifications based on the sidescan sonar imagery were compared to the digital video from the submersible dives. This analysis, which incorporated buffers to account for spatial inaccuracy, concluded that more than half of the submersible video images did not correspond to the sidescan sonar imagery in the high relief areas. Inthe second analysis, a comparison was made between 1960's bathymetry soundings to 2002 multibeam backscatter bathymetry. A change detection was performed and resulted in a 21% decrease in total area of high relief habitat. These two analytical approaches suggest that the Oculina HAPC has undergone topographic changes and further investigation is planned for studying more areas within the HAPC.
A problem for watershed delineation is the intervening zones that do not
fit hierarchically into adjoining watersheds that abut a waterbody. In
estuaries, coastal zones, and lakes these important areas are often flat
expanses with different geophysics (greater alluvial deposition, flooding,
and water temperature fluctuation) than the drained area of adjoining
watersheds. Intervening zones often also experience additional development
pressure or require special management or emergency response.
To resolve the difficulty associated with intervening zones, the participants of the Collaborative GIS-based 2003 CalWater Watershed Delineation Workshops, in the San Francisco Estuary Region, developed a topographic-bathymetric 7th order watershed and waterbody model. In this model, topographic data are augmented with bathymetry, road and urban storm water infrastructure data, and information on geomorphology, ecological processes and local management issues. The hierarchical structure of watershed delineations is preserved by explicitly incorporating bathymetry. This provides a framework for geospatial modeling at the complex spatiotemporal margin where the fluvial landform and the waterbody basin meet.
The use of a topographic-bathymetric seventh order model for watershed delineation provides managers with a data structure to integrate geospatial and ecological science with land management regulatory drivers. It also allows the definition of watersheds beyond the seventh order to accommodate modeling processes at a higher resolution than currently feasible.
Coastal erosion is a serious and significant issue affecting coastal communities in Wisconsin.
Although scientists have studied coastal geomorphology of the Great Lakes closely in recent
years, this work often fails to communicate to a larger public audience and thereby stimulate a
deeper understanding of the truly dynamic and unstable nature of many coastlines. Given both the
complexity of the processes and the long time periods involved, many public officials, planners,
and real estate developers do not fully appreciate either the inherent instability of desirable
lakefront property or how some land-use practices may contribute to that instability.
This project is designed to bridge the gap between scientific understanding and public perception by utilizing Web-based geovisualization tools and remotely-sensed data to present integrated and scientifically informed views of coastal erosion. We have built an educational website that utilizes geovisualization tools and techniques to represent dynamic coastal processes, allowing users to explore the factors that lead to coastal erosion. This material is aimed at both the general public and decision makers (e.g., zoning committees).
The specific problem addressed is recession rates of the bluffs along the Lake Michigan coast and how those rates relate to zoning setback ordinances in Ozaukee County, WI. More generally, this project demonstrates how remotely sensed data can be used to address local community needs, and how Web-based geovisualization tools can bring these data to a wider audience.
Keywords: cartography, Web, visualization, GIS, coastal erosion.
Padilla Bay has one of the largest contiguous eelgrass meadows in the Western United
States. Eelgrass is important for many species such as the migratory Black Brant
(Branta bernicla), Dungeness Crab (Cancer magister), and
Chinook Salmon (Oncorhynchus tschawytscha). Mapping and monitoring changes
in distribution of submerged and emergent coastal vegetation has become more
important as population and development pressures near the coasts have increased.
The distribution of eelgrass, macroalgae, and saltmarsh vegetation in Padilla Bay,
Washington were mapped for 2000 and comparisons were made with the distribution of
macrophytes previously mapped in 1989. Aerial photos, obtained during a summer
lower low tide in 2000, were scanned then georectified using ArcView 3.3. The
eelgrasses and macroalgal beds were delineated on-screen using a Habitat
Digitizer extension and a touch screen LCD display. Image interpretation was
based on extensive ground truth data (more than 200 ground inventory point
locations) collected during summer 2000 low tides. Eelgrasses covered about
3900 hectares in 2000, an increase of about 650 hectares more than in 1989.
About 95 percent of the eelgrasses were intertidal. Coverage decreased about 8
percent around March Point from 1989 to 2000, but increased by about 120 hectares
in the northeast area of Padilla Bay.
Keywords: mapping, georeferencing, change detection, eelgrass, intertidal habitats, Washington
U.S. natural disaster losses are estimated to be between $10 billion and $50 billion annually, much of which are a result of coastal storms. Communities that have undertaken hazard vulnerability assessments and implemented mitigation measures have experienced significant economic, environmental and quality of life benefits. The Coastal Risk Atlas (CRA) project provides a methodology and access to required hazards data via the Internet so that resource managers, emergency managers, and the public can assess their community's vulnerability to coastal storms. The location of critical facilities, infrastructure, and significant environmental resources and hazards such as toxic release sites, and the vulnerability of primary economic and demographic sectors such as the elderly, poor, and under-educated populations are taken as parameters with respect to their relative involvement to high-risk storm surge areas, wind speed envelopes, and flood prone areas. Users have the option of either viewing the data through an internet map server or downloading data to their own systems for analysis using GIS software aided by vulnerability analysis tools created specifically for this project, and available through the CRA website. These efforts have been initiated for the Mississippi Gulf Coast and sections of Northeast Florida as a pilot project, and will be expanded to the remaining areas of the Gulf Coast through the remainder of 2003 and into 2004.
The development of strategic approaches to shoreline management and, policy formulation within the United Kingdom has, over the past 15 years, been paralleled by the routine application of Geographical Information Systems technology and the growing availability of nationally consistent thematic data sets.
Consistencies in methodological approach and base data have enabled the development of analytical tools for scenario development, risk assessment and policy formulation. These are allowing both national and local future management options to be evaluated within an objective, case-based, framework.
This paper illustrates how the drive to achieve consistent methodologies in shoreline planning has been under-pinned by the availability of generic geographic information. It examines the use of historic information to establish patterns of geomorphic change, and looks at how current technology is being used to establish forward looking shoreline monitoring regimes.
The projects reviewed include "Future Coast", a 2 year research programme that comprehensively mapped long term geomorphic process in the UK, and the results of which have been widely disseminated using GIS browser technologies. The "Foresight Flood and Coastal Defence Project" is ongoing research that draws together national data on climate change, demographics, land use and flood risk within a geo-databases to evaluate the impacts of future policy on national flood risk.
Such national strategic studies have only been possible because of the foundations laid in the form of common data objects that have allowed the development and continued refinement of spatial analysis techniques.
The Ningaloo Marine Park, on the extreme west coast of Australia,
is currently under increasing pressure from tourism activities associated
with the marine interaction activities. This paper will provide an overview
of the issues and layers of planning that are being undertaken to protect
the ecological and social values of the Ningaloo Marine Park and adjacent
The need for integration of both terrestrial and marine planning is highlighted as well as the need for integration between the regional planning and more detailed conservation planning processes. The achievement of cooperation between government agencies is a hallmark of this integration. The integrated planning processes aim to provide a framework for future land management, tourism and recreation development, to ensure an integrated and sustainable future for the Carnarvon-Ningaloo coast.
The paper will outline; community involvement in both the planning and management of the coast; co-ordination of government and non-government organisations to ensure integrated management occurs in the future; importance of protected areas (both marine and terrestrial) and the statutory protection afforded through both planning and management tools and what planning and management tools currently being used.
Keywords: Coastal Management, Coastal Tourism, Australia
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