Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2021-269
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2021-269

Submitted as: model description paper 22 Sep 2021

Submitted as: model description paper | 22 Sep 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

CliffDelineaTool v1.1.0: an algorithm for identifying coastal cliff base and top positions

Zuzanna M. Swirad and Adam P. Young Zuzanna M. Swirad and Adam P. Young
  • Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego, 9500 Gilman Dr., La Jolla, CA 92093, USA

Abstract. Correct quantification of coastal cliff erosion requires accurate delineation of the cliff face bounded by the cliff top and base lines. Manual mapping is time consuming and relies on mapper's decisions and skills. Existing algorithms are generally site specific and may be less suitable for areas with diverse cross-shore cliff geometry. Here we describe CliffDelineaTool (v1.1.0), a MATLAB-based algorithm that identifies cliff base and top positions on complex cliffs using cross-shore transects extracted from digital elevation models. Testing on four 750–1200 m cliffed coastlines shows that the model performance is comparable to manual mapping and provides some advantages over existing models but provides poor results for cliff sections with ambiguous cliff top edges. The results can form the basis for a range of analyses including coastal inventories, erosion measurements, spatio-temporal erosion trends, and coastline evolution modelling.

Zuzanna M. Swirad and Adam P. Young

Status: open (until 20 Nov 2021)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse

Zuzanna M. Swirad and Adam P. Young

Zuzanna M. Swirad and Adam P. Young

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Short summary
Cliff base and top lines that delimit coastal cliff faces are usually manually digitized based on maps, aerial photographs, terrain models, etc. However, manual mapping is time consuming and depends on mapper's decisions and skills. To increase objectivity and efficiency of cliff mapping, we developed CliffDelineaTool, an algorithm that identifies cliff base and top positions along cross-shore transects using elevation and slope characteristics.