Advanced Coastal Mapping to Support Hydrodynamic Modelling

Nova Scotia’s Atlantic coast exhibits a variety of shorelines that may be vulnerable to contamination in the event of an offshore oil spill. In turn, variable currents, changing water levels, shoals, and exposed seaside conditions make effective spill response difficult for tidal inlets. This project used an innovative airborne LiDAR system to collect surface and shallow submarine topographic data. At the same time, hydrodynamic modeling was conducted to predict water movement (and, by extension, nearshore oil dispersion) adjacent to two complex marine tidal inlet systems. Navigable pathways were mapped within a dynamic nearshore system to demonstrate how the data can aid in the planning of cleanup efforts that could otherwise be dangerous using traditional navigation methods. The outcome is high-resolution imagery, topo-bathymetric LiDAR and hydrodynamic modelling that can be used to improve oil spill response planning and reaction in near coastal environments.

  • Phase 1: April 2016 – April 2018 and Phase 2: September 2017 – June 2018

Principal Investigator: Dr. Tim Webster, Nova Scotia Community College

April 2016 – June 2018