Hardin, E.; Kurum, M.O.; Mitasova, H., and Overton, M.F., 2012. Least cost path extraction of topographic features for storm impact scale mapping.
A raster-based, spatially distributed implementation of the storm impact scale, designed to assess barrier island vulnerability, is presented. The two core topographic parameters of the scale, dune ridge and dune toe elevation, are extracted from a high-resolution, light detection and ranging (LIDAR)-derived digital elevation model (DEM). In addition, the beach slope, necessary to compute wave run-up, is extracted from the beach face. Innovative implementation of least cost path analysis and a physics-based model of an elastic sheet are used to map the dune ridge and dune toe. The robustness and efficiency of the topographic feature extraction method is demonstrated along 4 km of shoreline in Pea Island, Outer Banks, North Carolina.