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Low-Cost UAV for High-Resolution and Large-Scale Coastal Dune Change Monitoring Using Photogrammetry

1
CNRS, Université de Bordeaux, UMR 5805 EPOC, 33615 Pessac CEDEX, France
2
Office National des Forêts, 75570 CEDEX 12 Paris, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2019, 7(3), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse7030063
Received: 31 January 2019 / Revised: 27 February 2019 / Accepted: 1 March 2019 / Published: 7 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Remote Sensing Methods to Monitor Coastal Zones)
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Abstract

In this paper, coastal dune data are collected at Truc Vert, SW France, using photogrammetry via Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). A low-cost GoPro-equipped DJI Phantom 2 quadcopter and a 20 MPix camera-equipped DJI Phantom 4 Pro quadcopter UAVs were used to remotely sense the coastal dune morphology over large spatial scales (4 km alongshore, i.e., approximately 1 km2 of beach-dune system), within a short time (less than 2 h of flight). The primary objective of this paper is to propose a low-cost and replicable approach which, combined with simple and efficient permanent Ground Control Point (GCP) set-up, can be applied to routinely survey upper beach and coastal dune morphological changes at high frequency (after each storm) and high resolution (0.1 m). Results show that a high-resolution and accurate Digital Surface Model (DSM) can be inferred with both UAVs if enough permanent GCPs are implemented. The more recent DJI Phantom 4 gives substantially more accurate DSM with a root-mean-square vertical error and bias of 0.05 m and −0.03 m, respectively, while the DSM inferred from the DJI Phantom 2 still largely meets the standard for coastal monitoring. The automatic flight plan procedure allows replicable surveys to address large-scale morphological evolution at high temporal resolution (e.g., weeks, months), providing unprecedented insight into the coastal dune evolution driven by marine and aeolian processes. The detailed morphological evolution of a 4-km section of beach-dune system is analyzed over a 6-month winter period, showing highly alongshore variable beach and incipient foredune wave-driven erosion, together with wind-driven inland migration of the established foredune by a few meters, and alongshore-variable sand deposition on the grey dune. In a context of widespread erosion, this photogrammetry approach via low-cost flexible and lightweight UAVs is well adapted for coastal research groups and coastal dune management stakeholders, including in developing countries where data are lacking. View Full-Text
Keywords: digital surface model; unmanned aerial vehicle; photogrammetry; coastal dune; aeolian erosion; marine erosion; low-cost survey digital surface model; unmanned aerial vehicle; photogrammetry; coastal dune; aeolian erosion; marine erosion; low-cost survey
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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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Laporte-Fauret, Q.; Marieu, V.; Castelle, B.; Michalet, R.; Bujan, S.; Rosebery, D. Low-Cost UAV for High-Resolution and Large-Scale Coastal Dune Change Monitoring Using Photogrammetry. J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2019, 7, 63.

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