Using drone-based lidar to quantify geomorphic change
EAS Graduate Student Harrison Martin will be giving an IRIS-hosted webinar next Thursday at 2 pm.
IRIS is a large NSF facility focused on seismology but will be joining forces with UNAVCO (geodetic facility) at the start of the new year. They don’t invite just anybody to give these webinars (see list here), so it should be a point of pride of our department that they invited one of our graduate students. Well done, Harrison!
Abstract: Lidar data has revolutionized the geosciences by allowing high-resolution (< 1-5 m), repeat data that can resolve both vegetation and bare-earth elevations. These lidar data are usually collected by plane-based (airborne; tens of km2 with ~10 points/m2) or ground-based (terrestrial; tens of m2 with thousands of points/m2) instruments. Here, we overview the use of a third, intermediate technique: drone-based lidar (~km2, with ~100 points/m2). We will explain and illustrate this novel method and how it differs from existing methods for measuring topography. We will illustrate the power that drone-based lidar offers geoscientists through case examples from our own research into landscape dynamics: When a tree falls in a forest, can a drone detect it? How does a catastrophic dam failure impact downstream river morphology? What can we learn about river mechanics with a high spatial-temporal dataset of an actively migrating river meander? We will summarize the ways that we have benefitted from this rapid-response, low-cost, and high-resolution imaging technique as applied to our research on hillslopes, natural disasters, and river geomorphology