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ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2017, 6(11), 328; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi6110328

Assessment of UAV and Ground-Based Structure from Motion with Multi-View Stereo Photogrammetry in a Gullied Savanna Catchment

1
Sustainability Research Centre, University of the Sunshine Coast, Sippy Downs 4556, Queensland, Australia
2
School of Science and Engineering, University of the Sunshine Coast, Sippy Downs 4556, Queensland, Australia
3
Land and Water, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Canberra 2601, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
4
Land and Water, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Brisbane 4102, Queensland, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 September 2017 / Revised: 30 September 2017 / Accepted: 24 October 2017 / Published: 30 October 2017
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Abstract

Structure from Motion with Multi-View Stereo photogrammetry (SfM-MVS) is increasingly used in geoscience investigations, but has not been thoroughly tested in gullied savanna systems. The aim of this study was to test the accuracy of topographic models derived from aerial (via Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, ‘UAV’) and ground-based (via handheld digital camera, ‘ground’) SfM-MVS in modelling hillslope gully systems in a dry-tropical savanna, and to assess the strengths and limitations of the approach at a hillslope scale and an individual gully scale. UAV surveys covered three separate hillslope gully systems (with areas of 0.412–0.715 km2), while ground surveys assessed individual gullies within the broader systems (with areas of 350–750 m2). SfM-MVS topographic models, including Digital Surface Models (DSM) and dense point clouds, were compared against RTK-GPS point data and a pre-existing airborne LiDAR Digital Elevation Model (DEM). Results indicate that UAV SfM-MVS can deliver topographic models with a resolution and accuracy suitable to define gully systems at a hillslope scale (e.g., approximately 0.1 m resolution with 0.4–1.2 m elevation error), while ground-based SfM-MVS is more capable of quantifying gully morphology (e.g., approximately 0.01 m resolution with 0.04–0.1 m elevation error). Despite difficulties in reconstructing vegetated surfaces, uncertainty as to optimal survey and processing designs, and high computational demands, this study has demonstrated great potential for SfM-MVS to be used as a cost-effective tool to aid in the mapping, modelling and management of hillslope gully systems at different scales, in savanna landscapes and elsewhere. View Full-Text
Keywords: Digital Elevation Model (DEM); Digital Surface Model (DSM); gully erosion; point cloud; Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Digital Elevation Model (DEM); Digital Surface Model (DSM); gully erosion; point cloud; Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)
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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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Koci, J.; Jarihani, B.; Leon, J.X.; Sidle, R.C.; Wilkinson, S.N.; Bartley, R. Assessment of UAV and Ground-Based Structure from Motion with Multi-View Stereo Photogrammetry in a Gullied Savanna Catchment. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2017, 6, 328.

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