University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Drones and Digital Photogrammetry: From Classifications to Continuums for Monitoring River Habitat and Hydromorphology

Woodget, Amy, Austrums, Robbie, Maddock, Ian and Habit, E. (2017) Drones and Digital Photogrammetry: From Classifications to Continuums for Monitoring River Habitat and Hydromorphology. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water, 4 (4). e1222. ISSN Online: 2049-1948

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Recently, we have gained the opportunity to obtain very high-resolution imagery and topographic data of rivers using drones and novel digital photogrammetric processing techniques. The high-resolution outputs from this method are unprecedented, and provide the opportunity to move beyond river habitat classification systems, and work directly with spatially explicit continuums of data. Traditionally, classification systems have formed the backbone of physical river habitat monitoring for their ease of use, rapidity, cost efficiency, and direct comparability. Yet such classifications fail to characterize the detailed heterogeneity of habitat, especially those features which are small or marginal. Drones and digital photogrammetry now provide an alternative approach for monitoring river habitat and hydromorphology, which we review here using two case studies. First, we demonstrate the classification of river habitat using drone imagery acquired in 2012 of a 120 m section of the San Pedro River in Chile, which was at the technological limits of what could be achieved at that time. Second, we review how continuums of data can be acquired, using drone imagery acquired in 2016 from the River Teme in Herefordshire, England. We investigate the precision and accuracy of these data continuums, highlight key current challenges, and review current best practices of data collection, processing, and management. We encourage further quantitative testing and field applications. If current difficulties can be overcome, these continuums of geomorphic and hydraulic information hold great potential for providing new opportunities for understanding river systems to the benefit of both river science and management.

Item Type: Article
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Uncontrolled Keywords: drones, photogrammetry, river habitat, hydromorphology, quantitative testing, field application, geomorphic and hydraulic information, river science and management
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GA Mathematical geography. Cartography
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GB Physical geography
Q Science > Q Science (General)
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Divisions: Academic Departments > Institute of Science and the Environment
Related URLs:
Copyright Info: Open Access article
Depositing User: Amy Woodget
Date Deposited: 04 May 2017 09:14
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2017 14:01

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