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Remote Sens. 2015, 7(5), 6160-6195; doi:10.3390/rs70506160

Topo-Bathymetric LiDAR for Monitoring River Morphodynamics and Instream Habitats—A Case Study at the Pielach River

1
Department of Geodesy and Geoinformation (E120.7), Vienna University of Technology, Gusshausstr. 27-29, A-1040 Vienna, Austria
2
Institute for Water Management, Hydrology and Hydraulic Engineering, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Muthgasse 18, A-1190 Vienna, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: András Zlinszky, Nicolas Baghdadi and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 15 January 2015 / Accepted: 5 May 2015 / Published: 19 May 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing and GIS for Habitat Quality Monitoring)
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Abstract

Airborne LiDAR Bathymetry (ALB) has been rapidly evolving in recent years and now allows fluvial topography to be mapped in high resolution (>20 points/m2) and height accuracy (<10 cm) for both the aquatic and the riparian area. This article presents methods for enhanced modeling and monitoring of instream meso- and microhabitats based on multitemporal data acquisition. This is demonstrated for a near natural reach of the Pielach River, with data acquired from April 2013 to October 2014, covering two flood events. In comparison with topographic laser scanning, ALB requires a number of specific processing steps. We present, firstly, a novel approach for modeling the water surface in the case of sparse water surface echoes and, secondly, a strategy for improved filtering and modeling of the Digital Terrain Model of the Watercourse (DTM-W). Based on the multitemporal DTM-W we discuss the massive changes of the fluvial topography exhibiting deposition/erosion of 103 m3 caused by the 30-years flood event in May 2014. Furthermore, for the first time, such a high-resolution data source is used for monitoring of hydro-morphological units (mesohabitat scale) including the consequences for the target fish species nase (Chondrostoma nasus, microhabitat scale). The flood events caused a spatial displacement of the hydro-morphological units but did not effect their overall frequency distribution, which is considered an important habitat feature as it documents resilience against disturbances. View Full-Text
Keywords: airborne LiDAR bathymetry; water surface modeling; digital terrain modeling; fluvial change detection; mesohabitat monitoring; microhabitat monitoring airborne LiDAR bathymetry; water surface modeling; digital terrain modeling; fluvial change detection; mesohabitat monitoring; microhabitat monitoring
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Mandlburger, G.; Hauer, C.; Wieser, M.; Pfeifer, N. Topo-Bathymetric LiDAR for Monitoring River Morphodynamics and Instream Habitats—A Case Study at the Pielach River. Remote Sens. 2015, 7, 6160-6195.

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