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Abstract

First Landing State Park is located on the southern shore of the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. The park contains a prograding shoreline and dune complex that has been steadily growing northward. Accurate three dimensional mapping of the resident coastal dune features is challenging due to the dynamic nature of the dunescape. Precise mapping within First Landing was accomplished through careful planning, employ of advanced Global Positioning System (GPS) technology, and intensive data analysis. Mapping ensued during a period of optimal satellite signal availability and strength. Data points were collected at manual intervals with a Leica GS50+ GPS receiver, utilizing real-time kinematic (RTK) corrections from ground control stations. Vertical data accuracies of less than 5cm were achieved. Horizontal accuracies were near 1cm. The resultant data was interpolated to create realistic contour maps, triangulated irregular networks (TINS), and raster elevation models of the study area. The methods employed may be replicated at standard time intervals for the purpose of establishing a database to maintain an inventory of dune features within First Landing. Temporal changes in this inventory may be monitored to illustrate rates of change and illuminate conditions that may require management intervention.

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