Skip to Main Content
Comparing LiDAR-Generated to ground- surveyed channel cross-sectional profiles in a forested mountain streamAuthor(s): Brian C. Dietterick; Russell White; Ryan Hilburn
Source: In: Standiford, Richard B.; Weller, Theodore J.; Piirto, Douglas D.; Stuart, John D., tech. coords. Proceedings of coast redwood forests in a changing California: A symposium for scientists and managers. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-238. Albany, CA: Pacific Southwest Research Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture. pp. 639-648
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: Pacific Southwest Research Station
PDF: View PDF (0 B)
DescriptionAirborne Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) holds promise to provide an alternative to traditional ground-based survey methods for stream channel characterization and some change detection purposes, even under challenging landscape conditions. This study compared channel characteristics measured at 53 ground-surveyed and LiDAR-derived crosssectional profiles located in six study reaches of Little Creek, a forested headwater stream on Cal Poly’s Swanton Pacific Ranch, near Santa Cruz, CA. Three LiDAR datasets were compared in this study, with flights in 2002, 2008, and 2010, a period of rapid improvement in LiDAR technology. Visual and statistical agreement between field-surveyed and LiDARderived channel characteristics (bankfull depth, bankfull width, bankfull area, and thalweg elevation) show improvement as LiDAR technology has matured. Improvements are explained, in part, by the decrease in point spacing along the cross-sectional profiles (averaging 3.0 m in 2002, 1.0 m in 2008, and 0.49 m in 2010). Bankfull width was more accurately measured than bankfull depth or cross-sectional area. In 2010, two thirds of the LiDAR-derived cross-sections provided bankfull width within 10 percent (0.46 m) of the field-surveyed width. These initial findings show the improvements in LiDAR capabilities over time, though also point to difficulties that remain for remotely measuring channel geometry on small, headwater mountain streams.
- You may send email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request a hard copy of this publication.
- (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationDietterick, Brian C.; White, Russell; Hilburn, Ryan. 2012. Comparing LiDAR-Generated to ground- surveyed channel cross-sectional profiles in a forested mountain stream. In: Standiford, Richard B.; Weller, Theodore J.; Piirto, Douglas D.; Stuart, John D., tech. coords. Proceedings of coast redwood forests in a changing California: A symposium for scientists and managers. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-238. Albany, CA: Pacific Southwest Research Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture. pp. 639-648.
Keywordsbankfull, change detection, channel, LiDAR
- Effects of bathymetric lidar errors on flow properties predicted with a multi-dimensional hydraulic model
- Stream channel reference sites: An illustrated guide to field technique
- Remote sensing of channels and riparian zones with a narrow-beam aquatic-terrestrial LIDAR
XML: View XML