Science Center Objects

This study explores the feasibility of using high-resolution digital elevation models (DEMs) constructed from airborne light detection and ranging (lidar) surveys to develop an automated procedure to extract levee longitudinal elevation profiles for both federal levees in Atchafalaya Basin and local levees in Lafourche Parish, south Louisiana. This approach can successfully accommodate abrupt changes in levee orientation (direction), variations in levee geometries, and differing DEM resolutions. 

The federal levees investigated in Atchafalaya Basin have crest elevations between 5.3 and 12 m, and the local counterparts in Lafourche Parish are between 0.76 and 2.3 m. The vertical uncertainty in the elevation data is considered when assessing federal crest elevation against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers minimum height requirements to withstand the 100-year flood. Only approximately 5% of the crest points of the two federal levees investigated in the Atchafalaya Basin region met this requirement. Published by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, Inc. 


Additional information regarding levee crest elevation profiles, visit 


Coastal Changes and Impacts CoNED Levee Crest

U.S. Geological Survey images created by Monica Palaseanu-Lovejoy. 

(Public domain.)