Assessing the Effects of Hurricane Irma on Mangrove Structures in the Coastal Everglades using Airborne Lidar Data
Mangrove forests are important ecosystems occupying intertidal settings along the land-sea interface in tropical and subtropical regions worldwide. This chapter discusses pre-and post-Irma lidar data were applied to look at the effects of Hurricane Irma on mangrove structures. The scanning lidar data are collected by the VQ-480 airborne laser-scanning instrument, and the profiling lidar data are collected by an LD321-A40 multi-purpose laser distance meter. The post-Irma lidar Digital Terrain Model seems more reliable because more lidar pulses can pass through the mangrove canopy top and hit ground due to severe defoliation from the hurricane. Lidar provides an attractive alternative to in-situ methods to understand the effects of hurricanes on soil elevations and is able to map the accretion and erosion of sediments at a landscape scale. Hurricanes have been recognized to play an important ecological role in wetlands and coastal ecosystems by affecting soil elevation.