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Green LiDaR DoD Uncertainty Project


Traditional airborne LiDaR has been used successfully to characterize, survey and study fluvial environments. However, because traditional LiDaR uses a near infared wavelength of light, much of the energy transmitted from the instrument is absorbed by water and the rest reflects. Thus, you can get some returns of water-surface topography, but no bathymetric returns beneath the water surface. In coastal environments, bathyetric LiDaRs were developed using a green wavelength of light that would be capable of penetrating the water surface and providing a return of

Airborne Lidar Processing System (ALPS)
Experimental Advanced Airborne Research Lidar (EAARL)
SHOALS (Scanning Hydrographic Opperational Airborne LiDaR Survey)- Now part of Joint Airborne Lidar Bathymetry Technical Center of Expertise (JALBTCX)

Project Aim:

The aim of this research is to determine the utility of Green LiDaR in monitoring rivers both in terms of static-snapshots of habitat characterization and change detection. To do this, a much more sophisticated model of surface representation uncertainty in the DEMs derived from green LiDaR is needed. With a better ability to quantify the spatially variable nature of DEM uncertainty, we can look at how those uncertainties are propagated into analyses derived from those surfaces.

Study Sites & Collaborators

In 2008, Daniele Tonina, Jim McKean and I started collaborating to look at the potential of green LiDaR in change detection work and morphological sediment budgeting. This is the main

Bear Creek

 As it was one of the few rivers (so far), where repeat green LiDaR surveys exist, it was an excellent opportunity to explore its . In a poster presented at AGU in 2009 (Wheaton et al. 2009), we focused initially on a subset of the dataset for Upper Elk Creek (study-reach shown at left). We have extended the fuzzy inference system in the DoD Uncertainty Analysis Software, to work for green LiDaR and are currently working on testing and refining this. We next hope to extend the change detection analysis over the entire surveys for Elk Creek and Bear Valley Creek to look for distinctive signatures of geomorphic change between the different systems over system scales.

Lemhi River

In the Lemhi, we are

Trinity River