The application of terrestrial laser scanner and SfM photogrammetry in measuring erosion and deposition processes in two opposite slopes in a humid badlands area (central Spanish Pyrenees)

Nadal-Romero, E.; Revuelto, J.; Errea, P.; Lopez-Moreno, J., I.

Soil 1(2): 561-573


ISSN/ISBN: 2199-3971
DOI: 10.5194/soil-1-561-2015
Accession: 070901746

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Erosion and deposition processes in badland areas are usually estimated using traditional observations of topographic changes, measured by erosion pins or profile metres (invasive techniques). In recent times, remote-sensing techniques (non-invasive) have been routinely applied in geomorphology studies, especially in erosion studies. These techniques provide the opportunity to build high-resolution topographic models at centimetre accuracy. By comparing different 3-D point clouds of the same area, obtained at different time intervals, the variations in the terrain and temporal dynamics can be analysed. The aim of this study is to assess and compare the functioning of terrestrial laser scanner (TLS, RIEGL LPM-321) and structure-from-motion photogrammetry (SfM) techniques (Camera FUJIFILM, Finepix x100 and software PhotoScan by AgiSoft) to evaluate erosion and deposition processes in two opposite slopes in a humid badlands area in the central Spanish Pyrenees. Results showed that TLS data sets and SfM photogrammetry techniques provide new opportunities in geomorphological erosion studies. The data we recorded over 1 year demonstrated that north-facing slopes experienced more intense and faster changing geomorphological dynamics than south-facing slopes as well as the highest erosion rates. Different seasonal processes were observed, with the highest topographic differences observed during winter periods and the high-intensity rainfalls in summer. While TLS provided the highest accuracy models, SfM photogrammetry was still a faster methodology in the field and precise at short distances. Both techniques present advantages and disadvantages, and do not require direct contact with the soil and thus prevent the usual surface disturbance of traditional and invasive methods.