Coastal wetlands are a crucial buffer zone between land and sea but lateral erosion threatens their long-term sustainability. Better understanding of the forces leading to lateral marsh retreat will benefit the assessment of management options applied to mitigate the erosion. Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS), Light Detection and Ranging (lidar), and associated technologies are increasingly being used to assess this erosion. The central objective of this study was to identify a methodology for measuring marsh edge erosion with a TLS and correlate that erosion with exposed roots and incident wave energy. We quantified edge erosion across multiple temporal and spatial scales using a TLS, showing greater than one meter of lateral erosion over a 318-day period. We then evaluated the relationships between the erosion and incident wave energy along with erosion and vegetation roots. Wave height and erosion was strongly related (r2
= 0.99), while vegetation roots did not show an apparent effect. We discuss the challenges that arise from using TLS equipment, TLS data sets, and the use of voxels to measure marsh edge erosion.
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