GOMCON 2024 Session: The Present and Future of Ocean and Coastal Mapping Infrastructure in the Gulf of Mexico

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Stephan O'Brien

Sep 21, 2023, 10:43:59 AMSep 21
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Good day,

Florida Coastal Mapping Program, Center for Ocean Mapping and Innovative Technologies (University of South Florida) and Florida Institute of Technology are co-hosting a session on coastal mapping in the Gulf of Mexico at GOMCON 2024.  We invite submissions focusing on multibeam or topographic LIDAR mapping.  The deadline for the submission of abstracts is 13 October. 

The Present and Future of Ocean and Coastal Mapping Infrastructure in the Gulf of Mexico

Session chair:             Cheryl Hapke (COMIT/FCMaP)

Session co-chairs:       Kristie Erickson (FIO), Sherryl Gilbert (COMIT), Matt Hommeyer (COMIT), Stephan O’Brien (COMIT), Nicole Raineault (FIO) 

Coastal managers and researchers rely heavily on ocean and coastal mapping (OCM) data to support projects and decision-making. OCM is a broad label, but coastal bathymetry is the foundational dataset necessary for many applications, such as safe navigation, benthic habitat mapping, water quality, sediment location and transport, and coastal vulnerability modeling. However, across the Gulf of Mexico, there is a lack of system-wide coordination on acquisition of bathymetric data and making the data accessible to stakeholders.


One model for OCM coordination and collaboration in the region is the Florida Coastal Mapping Program (FCMaP), a multi-year effort among federal, state, academic, and industry partners to create a framework for prioritization and coordination of bathymetric mapping from the Florida coast to the 200-meter isobath. FCMaP’s mapping data inventory and gap analysis can be expanded to cover the U.S. coastline in the Gulf of Mexico, eventually leading to a robust Gulf of Mexico Mapping Program (GOMaP). We invite submissions that provide details on multibeam or topobathymetric lidar mapping conducted or planned between 2021-2025. 

FCMaP prioritization exercises have identified high demand for mapping in many shallow coastal areas around the state to fill existing data gaps and resurvey high energy environments. These areas are often difficult to survey with traditional mapping technologies and approaches. We encourage presentations that highlight the use of innovative and emerging technologies for shallow water mapping as well as community partnerships that seek to establish collaborative crowd-sourced data collection.  The session will consider the implications of improved access to and resolution of bathymetry in hydrodynamic models of the nearshore environment in light of increased coastal flooding and storms. 


The session will include a 5-minute opening introduction, presentations by invited speakers, presentations from participants who submitted abstracts, and conclude with a 30-min panel discussion with the invited speakers.


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