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Remote Sens. 2010, 2(9), 2060-2082; doi:10.3390/rs2092060

Flood Risk Mapping Using LiDAR for Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, Canada

Applied Geomatics Research Group, Nova Scotia Community College, Middleton, Nova Scotia B0S 1M0, NS, Canada
Received: 10 July 2010 / Revised: 19 August 2010 / Accepted: 20 August 2010 / Published: 1 September 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue LiDAR)
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A significant portion of the Canadian Maritime coastline has been surveyed with airborne Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR). The purpose of these surveys has been to map the risk of flooding from storm surges and projected long-term sea‑level rise from climate change and to include projects in all three Maritime Provinces: Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. LiDAR provides the required details in order to map the flood inundation from 1 to 2 m storm surge events, which cause coastal flooding in many locations in this region when they occur at high tide levels. The community of Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, adjacent to the Bay of Fundy, has been surveyed with LiDAR and a 1 m DEM (Digital Elevation Model) was constructed for the flood inundation mapping. Validation of the LiDAR using survey grade GPS indicates a vertical accuracy better than 30 cm. A benchmark storm, known as the Groundhog Day storm (February 1–3, 1976), was used to assess the flood maps and to illustrate the effects of different sea-level rise projections based on climate change scenarios if it were to re-occur in 100 years time. Near shore bathymetry has been merged with the LiDAR and local wind observations used to model the impact of significant waves during this benchmark storm. Long-term (ca. greater than 30 years) time series of water level observations from across the Bay of Fundy in Saint John, New Brunswick, have been used to estimate return periods of water levels under present and future sea-level rise conditions. Results indicate that under current sea-level rise conditions this storm has a 66 year return period. With a modest relative sea-level (RSL) rise of 80 cm/century this decreases to 44 years and, with a possible upper limit rise of 220 cm/century, this decreases further to 22 years. Due to the uncertainty of climate change scenarios and sea-level rise, flood inundation maps have been constructed at 10 cm increments up to the 9 m contour which represents an upper flood limit estimate in 100 years, based on the highest predicted tide, plus a 2 m storm surge and a RSL of 220 cm/century.
Keywords: LiDAR; flood inundation; flood risk; water levels; DEM LiDAR; flood inundation; flood risk; water levels; DEM
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Webster, T.L. Flood Risk Mapping Using LiDAR for Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, Canada. Remote Sens. 2010, 2, 2060-2082.

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