Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Environmental Sciences

First Advisor

Crystal B. Schaaf

Second Advisor

Ian L. Paynter

Third Advisor

Robert F. Chen


Boston Harbor and its thirty-four islands are subject to erosion, driven by rain, winds, and waves. Climate change threatens to increase erosion over time as sea levels rise and the frequency and intensity of storms increase. Understanding the dynamics of coastal erosion is key to guiding the design of coastal shoreline protections, the research of which a goal of Stone Living Laboratory at the University of Massachusetts Boston. To better understand the impact of both annual weather and episodic severe storms, the high-resolution Riegl VZ400i LiDAR was deployed four times over 14 months from July 22, 2021 to October 19, 2022 to scan and monitor the eroding northeast bluff of Rainsford Island in Boston Harbor. Of particular interest, these scanning campaigns included dates both before and after the region experienced two hurricanes, Henri and Ida, in late August 2021.