Coupling numerical models of deltaic wetlands with AirSWOT, UAVSAR, and AVIRIS-NG remote sensing data

Cortese, Luca; Donatelli, Carmine; Zhang, Xiaohe; Nghiem, Justin A.; Simard, Marc; Jones, Cathleen E.; Denbina, Michael; Fichot, Cédric G.; Harringmeyer, Joshua P.; Fagherazzi, Sergio

Coastal marsh survival relies on the ability to increase elevation and offset sea level rise. It is therefore important to realistically model sediment fluxes between marshes, tidal channels, and bays as sediment availability controls accretion. Traditionally, numerical models have been calibrated and validated using in situ measurements at a few locations within the domain of interest. These datasets typically provide temporal information but lack spatial variability. This paper explores the potential of coupling numerical models with high-resolution remote sensing imagery. Products from three sensors from the NASA Delta-X airborne mission are used. Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar (UAVSAR) provides vertical water level change on the marshland and was used to adjust the bathymetry and calibrate water fluxes over the marsh. AirSWOT yields water surface elevation within bays, lakes, and channels, and was used to calibrate the Chezy bottom friction coefficient. Finally, imagery from AVIRIS-NG provides maps of total suspended solids (TSS) concentration that were used to calibrate sediment parameters of settling velocity and critical shear stress for erosion. Three numerical models were developed at different locations along coastal Louisiana using Delft3D. The coupling enabled a spatial evaluation of model performance that was not possible using simple point measurements. Overall, the study shows that calibration of numerical models and their general performance will greatly benefit from remote sensing.



Cortese, Luca / Donatelli, Carmine / Zhang, Xiaohe / et al: Coupling numerical models of deltaic wetlands with AirSWOT, UAVSAR, and AVIRIS-NG remote sensing data. 2024. Copernicus Publications.


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