Fine scale 3D habitat mapping of intertidal rocky shore using airborne LiDAR data and digital aerial photography
Thorner, J, Kumar, L & Smith, SDA 2011, 'Fine scale 3D habitat mapping of intertidal rocky shore using airborne LiDAR data and digital aerial photography', paper presented to Earth observation in a changing world: Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry Society (RSPSoc) Annual Conference, Bournemouth, UK, 13-15 September, RSPSoc,
Habitat mapping is a useful tool for ecologists to analyze spatial data. Rocky shore ecosystems are distributed in a mosaic formation requiring a technology for extracting fine spatial scale (cm to m) data on habitat and habitat quality. Airborne LiDAR data and 10cm resolution digital aerial photography were used in this research to describe the environment and the habitats created by its physical characteristics that are important to the rocky shore ecosystem biodiversity. The objective of this research was to develop remote sensing techniques for accurate habitat mapping of the rocky shore intertidal zone and to create a detailed 3D Digital Terrain Model (DTM) of the low wave exposure areas within 5 headlands from Solitary Island Marine Park situated on the subtropical mid-north coast of NSW, Australia. The intertidal rocky shore habitats were classified according to the following type of communities: i) shallow pools; ii) deep pools; iii) emerged rock and iv) boulders and the results were presented by percentage of area within the ecosystem of each headland. Ground truthing of remote sensing data was obtained by visual surveys during low tide. The data generated from this research will be used as a platform for spatial analysis of this environment including modeling changes in biodiversity under different climate change scenarios.