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Earth Surface Dynamics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
20 Jan 2017
Review status
A revision of this discussion paper was accepted for the journal Earth Surface Dynamics (ESurf) and is expected to appear here in due course.
Quantifying uncertainty of remotely sensed topographic surveys for ephemeral gully channel monitoring
Robert R. Wells1, Henrique G. Momm2, and Carlos Castillo3 1National Sedimentation Laboratory, Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, Oxford, Mississippi, 38655, USA
2Department of Geosciences, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, 37132, USA
3Department of Rural Engineering, University of Córdoba, Córdoba, Spain
Abstract. Spatio-temporal measurements of landform evolution provide the basis for process-based theory formulation and validation. Overtime, field measurement of landforms has increased significantly worldwide, driven primarily by the availability of new surveying technologies. However, there is not a standardized and/or coordinated effort within the scientific community to collect morphological data in a dependable and reproducible manner, specifically when performing long-term small-scale process investigation studies. Measurements of the same site using identical methods and equipment, but performed at different time periods can lead to incorrect estimates of landform change as a result of three-dimensional registration errors. This work evaluated measurements of an ephemeral gully channel located in agricultural land using multiple independent survey techniques for locational accuracy and their applicability to generate information for model development/validation. Terrestrial photogrammetry and un-maned aerial vehicle-based platforms were compared to terrestrial LiDAR, defined herein as the reference dataset. Given the small-scale of the landform measured, alignment and ensemble equivalence between data sources were addressed sine qua non through post-processing. Utilization of ground control points were prerequisite to three-dimensional registration between datasets and improved confidence in the morphology information generated. Not one of the methods was without limitation; however, careful attention to project pre-planning and data nature will ultimately guide temporal efficacy and practicality of management decisions.

Citation: Wells, R. R., Momm, H. G., and Castillo, C.: Quantifying uncertainty of remotely sensed topographic surveys for ephemeral gully channel monitoring, Earth Surf. Dynam. Discuss., doi:10.5194/esurf-2017-3, in review, 2017.
Robert R. Wells et al.
Robert R. Wells et al.
Robert R. Wells et al.


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