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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2018-83
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Development and technical paper
11 Jun 2018
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Geoscientific Model Development (GMD).
Development of an automatic delineation of cliff top and toe on very irregular planform coastlines (CliffMetrics v1.0)
Andres Payo1, Bismarck Jigena Antelo2, Martin Hurst3, Monica Palaseanu-Lovejoy4, Chris Williams1, Gareth Jenkins1, Kathryn Lee1, David Favis-Mortlock5, Andrew Barkwidth1, and Michael A. Ellis1 1British Geological Survey, Keyworth, NG12 5GG, UK
2Cadiz University, Puerto Real, 11510, Spain
3University of Glasgow, East Quad, Glasgow, G12 8QQ, UK
4U.S. Geological Survey, Eastern Geographic Science Center, Resto n, VA 20191, USA
5Environmental Change Institute, Oxford University Centre for the Environment, Oxford, OX1 3QY, UK
Abstract. We describe a new algorithm that automatically delineates the cliff top and toe of a cliffed coastline from a Digital Elevation Model (DEM). The algorithm builds upon existing methods but is specifically designed to resolve very irregular planform coastlines with many bays and capes, such as parts of the coastline of Great Britain. The algorithm automatically and sequentially delineates and smooth shoreline vectors, generates orthogonal transects and elevation profiles with a minimum spacing equal to the DEM resolution, and extracts the position and elevation of the cliff top and toe. Outputs include the non-smoothed-raster and smoothed-vector coastline, normals to the coastline- (as vector shapefiles), xyz profiles (as comma-separated-value files), and the cliff top and toe (as point shape files). The algorithm also automatically assesses the quality of the profile and omits low-quality profiles (i.e. extraction of cliff top and toe is not possible). The performance of the proposed algorithm is compared with an existing method, which was not specifically designed for very irregular coastlines, and to hand-digitized boundaries by numerous professionals. Also we assess the reproducibility of the results using different DEM resolutions (5 m, 10 m and 50 m), different user defined parameter-sets related to the degree of coastline smoothing, and the threshold used to identify the cliff top and toe. The model output sensitivity is found to be smaller than hand-digitized uncertainty. Code and a manual are publicly available on a github repository.
Citation: Payo, A., Jigena Antelo, B., Hurst, M., Palaseanu-Lovejoy, M., Williams, C., Jenkins, G., Lee, K., Favis-Mortlock, D., Barkwidth, A., and Ellis, M. A.: Development of an automatic delineation of cliff top and toe on very irregular planform coastlines (CliffMetrics v1.0), Geosci. Model Dev. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2018-83, in review, 2018.
Andres Payo et al.
Andres Payo et al.
Andres Payo et al.

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We describe a new algorithm that automatically delineates the cliff top and toe of a cliffed coastline from a Digital Elevation Model (DEM). The algorithm builds upon existing methods but is specifically designed to resolve very irregular planform coastlines with many bays and capes, such as parts of the coastline of Great Britain.
We describe a new algorithm that automatically delineates the cliff top and toe of a cliffed...
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