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Remote Sens. 2016, 8(10), 834; doi:10.3390/rs8100834

Flash Flood Monitoring with an Inclined Lidar Installed at a River Bank: Proof of Concept

1
Mexican Institute of Water Technology (IMTA), Paseo Cuauhnáhuac No. 8532, Col. Progreso, Jiutepec Mor. 62550, Mexico
2
DISIME S.A. de C.V., Playa Villa del Mar No. 180, Col. Militar Marte, Ciudad de México D.F. 08830, Mexico
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Deepak R. Mishra and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 10 August 2016 / Revised: 19 September 2016 / Accepted: 8 October 2016 / Published: 11 October 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2543 KB, uploaded 12 October 2016]   |  

Abstract

Flash floods need to be monitored from a safe place, ideally with noncontact instruments installed at a riverbank and oriented so that they look obliquely at the water surface. The “inclined Lidar” technique could be useful for this purpose. It works based on the fact that a near-infrared Lidar mounted with a large incidence angle can detect suspended particles slightly below the surface, provided that the water is very turbid, something which is likely during flash floods. To check this hypothesis, an inexpensive “time of flight” (TOF) Lidar was installed during a rainy season at the Amacuzac River (Mexico), which was usually found to be extremely turbid (Secchi depth < 0.5 m). Under these circumstances, the Lidar had no difficulty detecting the water (sub) surface. Converting the measured distances into stage estimates through a simple (one point) calibration resulted in reasonable agreement with reference data (within ±0.08 m (p = 0.95) and always <0.5 m), especially during the passing of a flash flood. This is the first evidence that an inclined (TOF) Lidar can be used to monitor the stage during a flash flood. Indirectly, it also shows that a (Doppler) Lidar could be used to monitor water velocity during this type of event. View Full-Text
Keywords: flooding; hydrometry; water level; emerging techniques; terrestrial Lidar; laser rangefinder; light backscattering; Tyndall effect flooding; hydrometry; water level; emerging techniques; terrestrial Lidar; laser rangefinder; light backscattering; Tyndall effect
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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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Tamari, S.; Guerrero-Meza, V. Flash Flood Monitoring with an Inclined Lidar Installed at a River Bank: Proof of Concept. Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 834.

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