Laser Scanning Applications in Fluvial Geomorphology

Thursday, 18 December 2014: 4:00 PM
Petteri Alho, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
During recent decades, the use of high-resolution laser scanning data in fluvial studies has rapidly increased. Airborne laser scanning (ALS) can be used to extensively map riverine topography. Laser scanning data have great potential to improve the effectiveness of topographical data acquisition and the accuracy and resolution of DTMs (Digital Terrain Models) needed in fluvial geomorphology. Airborne Laser Scanning (ALS) is applicable for mapping areas varying from reach to catchment scale and these data are, therefore, particularly suitable, especially for hydraulic modelling, mapping of flood inundation, and the detection of macro-scale fluvial geomorphology. With Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS) a spatial resolution of less than 1 mm and a range accuracy of few millimetres can be achieved. Mobile Laser Scanning (MLS) enables a remarkably faster survey approach compared to the conventional TLS method. One of the newest applications of MLS approaches involves a boat/cart/backpack -based mobile mapping system. This set-up includes laser scanning and imaging from a platform moving along a river course or floodplain and may be used to expand the spatial extent of terrestrial scanning. Detailed DTMs derived from laser scanning data can be used to improve the recognition of fluvial landforms, the geometric data of hydraulic modelling, and the estimation of flood inundation extents and the associated fluvial processes. Fluvial environments also offer challenges for the application of laser scanning techniques. Factors such as vegetation cover, terrain undulation, coarse surface materials and water surfaces may distort a laser scanning survey.