(Article of periodic en Anglais - 2014)

Document title

Shoreline Change and Coastal Vulnerability Characterization with Landsat Imagery: A Case Study in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland

Authors(s) and Affiliation(s)

Gómez Cristina ; Wulder Michael A. ; Dawson Alastair G. ; Ritchie William ; Green David R. ;

  • Aberdeen Institute for Coastal Science and Management (AICSM), Department of Geography and Environment, School of Geoscience, University of Aberdeen
  • Sustainable Forest Management Research Institute, Universidad de Valladolid & INIA
  • Canadian Forest Service (Pacific Forestry Centre), Natural Resources Canada


Observation of cause–effect patterns of change in coastal environments provides insights into vulnerable areas and supports prediction and adaptation to flooding and erosion. Historic and periodic (6–8 year intervals) imagery from the Landsat archive is used to investigate transformations in the Atlantic coast of two Scottish islands over the period 1989–2011. Supervised classification of spectrally normalized images followed by change detection and spatial analysis reveals the patterns of change and the location of the most dynamic coastal areas. Quantitative measures of recent shifts and movement rates of relevant coastal lines, such as the lower limit of land-based vegetation, are assessed with the Digital Shoreline Analysis System. While very low rates are indicated for horizontal changes in the position of the lower limit of land-based vegetation (0.3 m y[−1]), specific areas have been subjected to high rates of coastal progradation as well as erosion (e.g. 2.5 m y[−1] at Stilligarry). Information derived from satellite data supports the characterization of geomorphologically dynamic coasts at regional scales. With a rich and open access archive of imagery, a commitment to continuity, and compatibility with the Earth observation missions of other space programs, the Landsat mission offers useful and otherwise unavailable data for monitoring of coastal areas.


Article of periodic

published at : Scottish geographical journal / ISSN 1751-665X

Editor : Taylor & Francis, Abingdon - ROYAUME-UNI (1999)

Millesime : 2014, vol. 130, no4 [pp. 279-299]
Published in 20141002

Bibliographic references : 76



Digital Object Identifier

Go to electronic document thanks to its DOI : 10.1080/14702541.2014.923579

2014, © 2014 Royal Scottish Geographical SocietyTous droits réservés © Prodig - Bibliographie Géographique Internationale (BGI), 2014
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