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Remote Sens. 2013, 5(11), 6138-6158; doi:10.3390/rs5116138

Quantitative Analysis of the Waterline Method for Topographical Mapping of Tidal Flats: A Case Study in the Dongsha Sandbank, China

1
Jiangsu Provincial Key Laboratory of Geographic Information Science and Technology, Nanjing University, Nanjing, 210023, China
2
Department of Geography, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 October 2013 / Revised: 6 November 2013 / Accepted: 13 November 2013 / Published: 21 November 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing in Geomorphology)
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Abstract

Although the topography of tidal flats is important for understanding their evolution, the spatial and temporal sampling frequency of such data remains limited. The waterline method has the potential to retrieve past tidal flat topography by utilizing large archives of satellite images. This study performs a quantitative analysis of the relationship between the accuracy of tidal flat digital elevation models (DEMs) that are based on the waterline method and the factors that influence the DEMs. The three major conclusions of the study are as follows: (1) the coverage rate of the waterline points and the number of satellite images used to create the DEM are highly linearly correlated with the error of the resultant DEMs, and the former is more significant in indicating the accuracy of the resultant DEMs than the latter; (2) both the area and the slope of the tidal flats are linearly correlated with the error of the resultant DEMs; and (3) the availability analysis of the archived satellite images indicates that the waterline method can retrieve tidal flat terrains from the past forty years. The upper limit of the temporal resolution of the tidal flat DEM can be refined to within one year since 1993, to half a year since 2004 and to three months since 2009. View Full-Text
Keywords: tidal flats; coastal morphology; digital elevation model; the waterline method tidal flats; coastal morphology; digital elevation model; the waterline method
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Liu, Y.; Li, M.; Zhou, M.; Yang, K.; Mao, L. Quantitative Analysis of the Waterline Method for Topographical Mapping of Tidal Flats: A Case Study in the Dongsha Sandbank, China. Remote Sens. 2013, 5, 6138-6158.

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