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Remote Sens. 2017, 9(5), 413; doi:10.3390/rs9050413

Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for Monitoring Recovery of Forest Vegetation on Petroleum Well Sites

1
Department of Geography, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada
2
Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute, Edmonton, AB T6G 2E9, Canada
3
Department of Renewable Resources, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2H1, Canada
4
Department of Science, University of Alberta, Augustana Campus, Camrose, AB T4V 2R3, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Lars T. Waser and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 16 January 2017 / Revised: 5 April 2017 / Accepted: 21 April 2017 / Published: 27 April 2017
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [3684 KB, uploaded 27 April 2017]   |  

Abstract

Photogrammetric point clouds (PPCs) provide a source of three-dimensional (3-D) remote sensing data that is well-suited to use over small areas that are within the scope of observation by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). We compared PPC-based structural metrics to traditional ground surveys conducted by field personnel in order to assess the capacity of PPC data to contribute to vegetation-reclamation surveys. We found good statistical agreement between key structural vegetation parameters, such as mean and maximum vegetation height, with PPC metrics successfully predicting most height and tree-diameter metrics using multivariate linear regression. However, PPC metrics were not as useful for estimating ground-measured vegetation cover. We believe that part of the issue lies in the mismatch between PPC- and ground-based measurement approaches, including subjective judgement on behalf of ground crews: a topic that requires more investigation. Our work highlights the emerging value of UAV-based PPCs to complement, and in some cases supplement, traditional ground-based sources of measured vegetation structure. View Full-Text
Keywords: unmanned aerial vehicles; photogrammetry; point clouds; vegetation structure; vegetation height; vegetation cover; ecological recovery; reclamation unmanned aerial vehicles; photogrammetry; point clouds; vegetation structure; vegetation height; vegetation cover; ecological recovery; reclamation
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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

Hird, J.N.; Montaghi, A.; McDermid, G.J.; Kariyeva, J.; Moorman, B.J.; Nielsen, S.E.; McIntosh, A.C.S. Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for Monitoring Recovery of Forest Vegetation on Petroleum Well Sites. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 413.

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