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Open AccessArticle

Evaluating Elevation Change Thresholds between Structure-from-Motion DEMs Derived from Historical Aerial Photos and 3DEP LiDAR Data

1
U.S. Geological Survey, Florence Bascom Geoscience Center, Reston, VA 20192, USA
2
Natural Systems Analysts, Inc. contracted to the U.S. Geological Survey, Florence Bascom Geoscience Center, Reston, VA 20192, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(10), 1625; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12101625
Received: 1 April 2020 / Revised: 6 May 2020 / Accepted: 15 May 2020 / Published: 19 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Monitoring and Mapping Using 3D Elevation Program Data)
This study created digital terrain models (DTMs) from historical aerial images using Structure from Motion (SfM) for a variety of image dates, resolutions, and photo scales. Accuracy assessments were performed on the SfM DTMs, and they were compared to the United States Geological Survey’s three-dimensional digital elevation program (3DEP) light detection and ranging (LiDAR) DTMs to evaluate geomorphic change thresholds based on vertical accuracy assessments and elevation change methodologies. The results of this study document a relationship between historical aerial photo scales and predicted vertical accuracy of the resultant DTMs. The results may be used to assess geomorphic change thresholds over multi-decadal timescales depending on spatial scale, resolution, and accuracy requirements. This study shows that if elevation changes of approximately ±1 m are to be mapped, historical aerial photography collected at 1:20,000 scale or larger would be required for comparison to contemporary LiDAR derived DTMs. View Full-Text
Keywords: structure from motion (SfM); historical aerial image photogrammetry; topographic change; digital surface model (DSM) thresholding; root of sum in quadrature (RSiQ); DEM accuracy structure from motion (SfM); historical aerial image photogrammetry; topographic change; digital surface model (DSM) thresholding; root of sum in quadrature (RSiQ); DEM accuracy
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    Link: https://doi.org/10.5066/P9XPAAVF
    Description: Digital elevation models (DEMs) for the seven dates of historical aerial photography used in this study are available online at: Chirico, P.G., Bergstresser, S.B, DeWitt, J.D., and Alessi, M.A., 2020, Data release for structure-from-motion DEMs derived from historical aerial photographs and their use in geomorphological mapping: U.S. Geological Survey data release, https://doi.org/10.5066/P9XPAAVF
MDPI and ACS Style

Chirico, P.; DeWitt, J.; Bergstresser, S. Evaluating Elevation Change Thresholds between Structure-from-Motion DEMs Derived from Historical Aerial Photos and 3DEP LiDAR Data. Remote Sens. 2020, 12, 1625.

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