Graduate Project


A geographic information system and remote sensing to support community-based coastal hazards planning in the Netarts Littoral Cell, Oregon Public Deposited

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  • The 14-km long Netarts Littoral Cell, located on the northern Oregon coast, experienced episodic erosion as a result of the severe 1997-98 El Nino and 1998-99 La Nina. The erosion events led to the development of a unique partnership bridging scientists, stakeholders, and various planning agencies. To address these erosion issues, a regional demonstration project for littoral cell hazard planning was undertaken. To support the planning efforts a GIS inventory was created to spatially examine erosion hotspots and aid stakeholders in planning for future chronic and catastrophic erosion events. The GIS combines a physical, cultural, and hazards inventory, a shoreline change analysis, and coastal hazard risk assessment into a decision support tool to facilitate coastal hazards management. Shoreline change analysis examined historical aerial photos and new LIDAR remote sensing technologies, with results showing multiple scale patterns of erosion and accretion that have significant implications to both science and management. Hazard risk zones were generated using predictive erosion models and geological observations. The GIS and decision support system facilitates the examination of hazards to develop avoidance strategies. Through spatial queries, decision-makers can examine various data layers to guide future oceanfront development and redevelopment. The development of this GIS in conjunction with a stakeholder process facilitates community involvement from GIS design through implementation of identified hazard management recommendations. Implementing mechanisms will occur through adoption of local land use policies and changes to park master plans. The interdisciplinary nature of this project allows for the range of stakeholder opinions, thus creating a unique opportunity to address coastal hazards at a regional scale, the same scale at which coastal erosion processes operate.
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