Short communication: Multi-scale topographic anisotropy patterns on a Barrier Island Academic Article uri icon


  • 2017 Elsevier B.V. Barrier islands exhibit a range of landforms that reflect the complex and varied combination of coastal and aeolian processes realized over the evolution of the island. A detailed analysis of the topography can be used to describe the evolution of a barrier island and provide insight on how it may be affected by a change in sea level, storm activity and wind exposure patterns. Topographic anisotropy, or the directional dependence of relief of landforms, can be used to determine the relative importance of different processes to island evolution at a range of scales. This short communication describes the use of scale-dependent topographic anisotropy to characterize the structure of Santa Rosa Island in northwest Florida. Scale-dependent topographic relief and asymmetry were assessed from a LiDAR-derived DEM from May 2004, a few months before the island experienced widespread erosion and overwash during Hurricane Ivan. This application demonstrates how anisotropy can be used to identify unique scale-dependent structures that can be used to interpret the evolution of this barrier island. Results of this preliminary study further highlight the potential of using topographic anisotropy to controls on barrier island response and recovery to storms as well as island resiliency with sea level rise and storm activity.

published proceedings

  • Geomorphology

altmetric score

  • 0.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Houser, C., Bishop, M., & Wernette, P.

citation count

  • 13

complete list of authors

  • Houser, Chris||Bishop, Michael||Wernette, Phil

publication date

  • January 2017