18 Jul 2023
 | 18 Jul 2023
Status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal BG.

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

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

Abstract. Coastal marsh survival relies upon to their ability to increase their elevation and offset sea level rise. It is therefore fundamental to realistically model the sediment fluxes between marshes, tidal channels and bays. Traditionally, numerical models have been calibrated and validated using in-situ measurements located in 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 recent NASA Delta-X airborne mission are used. UAVSAR provides vertical water level change on the marshland, and was used to adjust the bathymetry and calibrate the 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 provide 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 and scales along coastal Louisiana using Delft3D. The coupling enabled a spatial evaluation of model performance not possible using simple point measurements. Some limitations were highlighted in the remote sensing imagery and the numerical models that need to be accounted for when comparing the results. Overall, the study shows that calibration of numerical models and their general quality will greatly benefit from remote sensing.

Luca Cortese et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on bg-2023-108', Anonymous Referee #1, 15 Aug 2023
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Luca Cortese, 28 Sep 2023
  • RC2: 'Comment on bg-2023-108', Anonymous Referee #2, 28 Aug 2023
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Luca Cortese, 28 Sep 2023
  • RC3: 'Comment on bg-2023-108', Anonymous Referee #3, 07 Sep 2023
    • AC3: 'Reply on RC3', Luca Cortese, 28 Sep 2023

Luca Cortese et al.

Luca Cortese et al.


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Short summary
This study shows that numerical models in coastal areas can greatly benefit from the spatial information provided by remote sensing. Three Delft3D numerical models in coastal Louisiana are calibrated using airborne SAR and hyperspectral remote sensing products from the recent NASA Delta-X mission. The comparison with the remote sensing allows to spatially verify areas where the models perform better and yields to more representative parameters for the entire area.