Developing a Procedure for the Mapping and Characterization of the Nigerian Shoreline Using Remote Sensing

Olumide Fadahunsi
Directed Research Project


Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012, 1:00pm
Chase 130

Shoreline delineation is important in maritime boundary determination and shoreline change analysis.  In many developing countries, the charted shorelines are often inadequately and inconsistently mapped due to limited resources. This thesis describes the use of a GIS basedprocedure for shoreline mapping and characterization utilizing satellite imagery. Spectral analysis using different image bands is used to define the land/water boundary and characterize the coastal area around the shoreline. Publically-available Landsat imagery was used, and included a U.S. calibration site and three Nigerian study sites for the development of the procedure. The resulting satellite-derived shorelines were compared to charted shorelines (i.e., from historical maps and nautical charts) to evaluate the adequacy and consistency of the charted shorelines and to identify any changes. The comparison results show a good agreement in shoreline character between all three datasets (satellite, chart and map). Challenges identified in the study included: limited availability satellite imagery, cloud cover,missing data in some nautical charts, and printing errors on some historical charts. Although, the shoreline characterization procedure was developed based on datasets from study sites along Nigerian coastline, the procedure is suitable for mapping coastal areas in other developing regions.


Olu is an officer of the Nigerian Navy pursuing an M.S. in Ocean Engineering; Ocean Mapping. He has a B.S. in Math from the Nigerian Defence Academy.