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Discussion papers | Copyright
https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-2018-55
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 11 Jul 2018

Research article | 11 Jul 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Earth Surface Dynamics (ESurf).

A comparison of Structure from Motion Photogrammetry and the Traversing Micro Erosion Meter for measuring erosion on rock shore platforms

Niamh D. Cullen, Ankit K. Verma, and Mary C. Bourke Niamh D. Cullen et al.
  • Department of Geography, Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin, 2 College Green, Dublin 2, Ireland

Abstract. For decades researchers have used the Micro Erosion Meter and it successor the Traversing Micro Erosion Meter to measure microscale rates of vertical erosion (downwearing) on rock shore platforms. Difficulties with upscaling of microscale field data in order to explain long term platform evolution have led to calls to introduce other methods which allow measurement of platform erosion at different scales. Structure from Motion Photogrammetry is fast emerging as a reliable, cost-effective tool for geomorphic change detection, providing a valuable means for detecting micro to meso-scale geomorphic change over different terrain types. Here we present the results of an experiment where we test the efficacy of Structure from Motion Photogrammetry for measuring change on rock shore platforms due to different erosion processes (sweeping abrasion, scratching and percussion). Key to this approach is the development of the Coordinate Reference System used to reference and scale the models, and which can be easily deployed in the field. Experiments were carried out on three simulated platform surfaces with low to high relative rugosity to assess the influence of surface roughness. We find that a Structure from Motion Photogrammetry can be used to reliably detect micro (sub mm) and meso (cm) scale erosion on shore platforms with a low Rugosity Index. As topographic complexity increases, the scale of detection is reduced. We also provide a detailed comparison of the two methods across a range of categories including cost, data collection, analysis and output. We find that Structure from Motion offers several advantages over the Micro Erosion Meter, most notably the ability to detect and measure erosion of shore platforms at different scales.

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This research article provides a comparison between the traditional method of measuring erosion on rock shore platforms using a Traversing/Micro Erosion Meter (T/MEM) and a new approach using Structure from Motion (SfM) Photogrammetry. Our results indicate that SfM Photogrammetry offers several advantages over the T/MEM allowing measurement of erosion at different scales on rock surfaces with low roughness while also providing a means for identifying different processes and styles of erosion.
This research article provides a comparison between the traditional method of measuring erosion...
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