UNH Ocean Seminar

Solving the Global Nearshore Data Void

Christopher Parrish
Professor and the Plasker Faculty Scholar in Geomatics

Oregon State University

Friday, Apr. 19, 2024, 3:10pm
Chase 105

While mapping of the world’s deep ocean basins draws considerable attention, paradoxically, the shallow nearshore zone remains among the most poorly mapped regions globally. Impediments to mapping of shallow nearshore areas can include high wave energy, submerged hazards, and rapid change, due to storms and sediment transport. Yet, data in this zone are critical to inundation modeling, marine resource management, safety of marine navigation, and a wide range of science objectives. In response to these data needs, our research team, with members from Oregon State University, University of Texas at Austin, and NASA, is working to develop a new, global bathymetric data product from the green-wavelength, photon-counting lidar aboard NASA’s ICESat-2 satellite. The new bathymetric data product, ATL24, will contain point clouds with attributed sea surface and refraction-corrected bathymetric points in a variety of formats. An innovative feature of the ATL24 workflow is the use of an ensemble model for classification of seafloor and sea surface returns. ATL24 will leverage NASA’s SlideRule public web API to enable on-demand, customizable product generation via cloud-based processing. While ATL24 will play a key role in filling nearshore data voids, there is no single dataset or technology that can fully address this data gap globally. Hence, our team is simultaneously investigating complementary technologies, including autonomous surface vehicles equipped with multibeam echosounders, uncrewed aircraft systems and structure from motion photogrammetry, airborne bathymetric lidar, and other forms of satellite derived bathymetry. Leveraging all available technologies, machine learning, and data fusion, our long-range goal is to produce high-resolution, nearshore bathymetry globally at sufficient temporal resolution to assess morphological change, due to storms and other events. Collaboration is most welcome!  


Christopher Parrish is a Professor and the Plasker Faculty Scholar in Geomatics at Oregon State University, where he also serves as Director of the Geospatial Center for the Arctic and Pacific (GCAP). He holds a PhD in Civil Engineering with an emphasis in Geospatial Information Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a master's in Civil and Coastal Engineering with an emphasis in Geomatics from the University of Florida. Chris is Past President of the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS). Prior to joining OSU, he held the position of lead physical scientist in the Remote Sensing Division of NOAA's National Geodetic Survey. He also serves as an affiliate faculty member in the Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping - Joint Hydrographic Center (CCOM-JHC) at the University of New Hampshire. Additional information on Chris’ research group is available at: http://research.engr.oregonstate.edu/parrish/