Charles W. Finkl, Christopher Makowski
Journal of Coastal Research 36 (2), 205-217, (2 December 2019) https://doi.org/10.2112/JCOASTRES-D-19A-00011.1
KEYWORDS: Satellite imagery, coastal classification, coastal scene, geographical zonation, image interpretation, ecological succession, Catena, Coastal ecology
Finkl, C.W. and Makowski, C., 2020. Latitudinal and situational zonation of coastal catenary sequences observed from satellite images using the Biophysical Cross-shore Classification System (BCCS). Journal of Coastal Research, 36(2), 205–217. Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208.
The Biophysical Cross-shore Classification System (BCCS) was devised as a means for assessing shore-normal ecological and geomorphological successions from offshore to onshore transects within a coastal belt (Finkl and Makowski, 2020). The three-dimensional transects were parameterized in terms of alongshore length, cross-shore width, and depth below or elevation above sea level to codify environments and habitats in the framework of the BCCS. Repetitive ecological successions were so prominent that they were identified as archetypes, which included Barrier, Beach, Beach Ridge, Cliff, Coral Reef, Delta, Dune, Flat, Ice, Lagoon, Mountain, Rock, Till (glacial material), Upland, and Wetland. By sequentially linking together several archetypes based on a cross-shore ecological interpretation of the satellite imagery, a common master sequence is generated and referred to as a Dominant Catenary Sequence (DCS; e.g., Beach-Dune-Wetland). The more detailed Coastal Ecological Sequence (CES) of a coastal belt, which is defined by a discrete codification sequence built up from the DCS, is formulated by cognitive geovisual-analytics to link the dominant catena with a numbered shore-parallel shape distinction and subscripted sub archetypes to refine the sequential composite archetypes in a DCS. Once the CES has been established, a more thorough header and extended caption can then be composed to disseminate details of the geomorphological-ecological zonation within the geographical purview of latitude, elevation, and situational aspects that can be site-parameterized in terms of intensity of precipitation, temperature, humidity, exposure, windiness, presence of flora and fauna, etc. Examples of the BCCS on coastal belts dominated by cliff archetypes are provided in this study through a three-tiered process: Level I: DCS creation; Level II: CES formulation; and Level III: header and extended caption composition. Different latitudes and geographical-biophysical positions illustrate the ubiquity and applicability of identical DCS for broadscale cross-shore characterization of coastal belts, while more detailed ecological definitions are provided by larger-scale (smaller-area) observation of the same types of catenary cross sections for comparative purposes. Derivation of variable CES within identical DCS emphasizes the utility of this cross-shore classification system as it pertains to latitudinal and situational zonation. In this way, variable manifestations of coastal zonation are accommodated in the BCCS for both alongshore and cross-shore coastal belts worldwide.