Application of the AMBUR R Package for Spatio-temporal Analysis of Shoreline Change: Jekyll Island, Georgia, USA

Computers & GeosciencesComputers & Geosciences 41, (2012) 199–207

Chester W. Jackson Jr., Clark R. Alexander, and David M.Bush

“The AMBUR (Analyzing Moving Boundaries Using R) package for the R software environment provides a collection of functions for assisting with analyzing and visualizing historical shoreline change. The package allows import and export of geospatial data in ESRI shapefile format, which is compatible with most commercial and open-source GIS software. The ‘‘baseline and transect’’ method is the primary technique used to quantify distances and rates of shoreline movement, and to detect classification changes across time. Along with the traditional ‘‘perpendicular’’ transect method, two new transect methods, ‘‘near’’ and ‘‘filtered,’’ assist with quantifying changes along curved shorelines that are problematic for perpendicular transect methods. Output from the analyses includes data tables, graphics, and geospatial data, which are useful in rapidly assessing trends and potential errors in the dataset.

Forecasted shoreline position for the year 2056

Forecasted shoreline position for the year 2056 based on the linear regression rates (LRR) of shoreline change calculated at each transect. The orientations of filtered transects were used to project future shoreline movement. Other shoreline change rate calculation models, such as EPR and WLR, can also be used to forecast potential shoreline positions.

“A forecasting function also allows the user to estimate the future location of the shoreline and store the results in a shapefile. Other utilities and tools provided in the package assist with preparing and manipulating geospatial data, error checking, and generating supporting graphics and shapefiles. The package can be customized to perform additional statistical, graphical, and geospatial functions, and, it is capable of analyzing the movement of any boundary (e.g., shorelines, glacier terminus, fire edge, and marine and terrestrial ecozones).”