Observational fluvial geomorphology has greatly benefited in the last decades from the wide availability of digital terrain data obtained by orthophotos and by means of accurate airborne laser scanner data (LiDAR). On the contrary, the spatially-distributed study of the geomorphology of intertidal areas, such as tidal flats and marshes, remains problematic owing to the small relief characterizing such environments, often of the order of a few tens of centimetres, i.e. comparable to the accuracy of state-of-the-art LiDAR data. Here we present the results of Terrestrial Laser Scanner (TLS) acquisitions performed within a tidal marsh in the Venice lagoon. The survey was performed using a Leica HDS 3000 TLS, characterized by a large Field of View (360 deg H x 270 deg V), a low beam divergence (< 6 mm at 50 m) and a nominal accuracy of 6 mm at 50 m. The acquisition was performed at low tide to avoid interferences due to water on the marsh surface and, to minimize shadowing effects due to the tilting of the laser beam (especially in the channel network), the scanner was mounted on a custom-built tripod 3 m above the marsh surface. The area of the marsh, about 100m x 150m, was fully surveyed by just 2 scans. A total amount of about 3 million points was acquired, with an average measurement density of 200 points/m2. In order to reconstruct the geometry of the marsh, the two scans were co-registered using 8 reflective targets as matching points. Such targets were placed within the area of interest and surveyed with high accuracy (2 mm), while their position in the Italian national grid was determined with a double-frequency GPS receiver, in order to georeference the point clouds within an absolute framework. Post-processing of the very high resolution data obtained shows that the laser returns coming from the low vegetation present (about 0.5-1.0 m high) can be satisfactorily separated from those coming from the marsh surface, allowing the construction of a DSM and a DTM. This is important e.g. in eco-geomorphic studies of intertidal environments, where conventional LiDAR technologies cannot easily separate first and last laser returns (because of the low vegetation height) and thus provide models of the surface as well as of the terrain. Furthermore, the DTM is shown to provide unprecedented characterizations of marsh morphology, e.g. regarding the cross-sectional properties of small-scale tidal creeks (widths of the order of 10 cm), previously observable only through conventional topographic surveys, thus not allowing a fully spatially-distributed description of their morphology.
AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts
- Pub Date:
- December 2007
- 1824 Geomorphology: general (1625);
- 1890 Wetlands (0497);
- 1895 Instruments and techniques: monitoring