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An application of LIDAR to analyses of El Nino erosion in the Netarts littoral cell, Oregon

Journal of Coastal Research

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Abstract

El Nin??o produces coastal and beach erosion along the West Coast of the USA by elevating mean water levels so that tides are significantly higher than predicted, and by altering the paths of storms that generate large waves. In the past it has been difficult to adequately document the erosion impacts since they are so widespread. This difficulty has been solved through the application of LIDAR, which uses a scanning laser mounted in a small aircraft to rapidly and accurately survey beach elevations. This study uses LIDAR to document the beach changes and shoreline erosion that occurred during the 1997-98 El Nin??o within the Netarts Littoral Cell on the Oregon coast, a 14-km long "pocket beach" between large rocky headlands. The LIDAR surveys demonstrate that sand generally migrated northward within the cell due to the southwest approach of the El Nin??o storm waves, but there was a complex pattern of beach-elevation change due to the superposition of eroded rip-current embayments. The greatest beach erosion occurred near the south end of the cell, where it impacted Cape Lookout State Park, and to the north of the inlet to Netarts Bay where it threatened The Capes, a development of condominiums located on a high bluff. In both cases the LIDAR data proved to be extremely useful in quantifying the erosion, and in providing a better understanding of the erosion processes that occur during an El Nin??o.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
An application of LIDAR to analyses of El Nino erosion in the Netarts littoral cell, Oregon
Series title:
Journal of Coastal Research
Volume
18
Issue:
4
Year Published:
2002
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
First page:
792
Last page:
801
Number of Pages:
10