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Synoptic channel morphodynamics with topo-bathymetric airborne lidar: promises, pitfalls and research needs

Abstract : Topo-bathymetric airborne lidar sensors using a green laser penetrating water and suitable for hydrography are now sold by major manufacturers. In the context of channel morphodynamics, repeat surveys could offer synoptic high resolution measurement of topo-bathymetric change, a key data that is currently missing. Yet, beyond the technological promise, what can we really achieve with these sensors in terms of depth penetration and bathymetric accuracy ? Can all rivers be surveyed ? How easy it is to process this new type of data to get the data needed by geomorphologists ? Here we report on the use of the Optech Titan dual wavelength (1064 nm & 532 nm) operated by the universities of Rennes and Nantes (France) and deployed over several rivers and lakes in France, including repeat surveys. We will illustrate cases where the topo-bathymetric survey is complete, reaching up to 6 m in rivers and offers unprecedented data for channel morphology analysis over tens of kilometres. We will also present challenging cases for which the technology will never work, or for which new algorithms to process full waveform are required. We will illustrate new developments for automated processing of large datasets, including the critical step of water surface detection and refraction correction. In suitable rivers, airborne topo-bathymetric surveys offer unprecedented synoptic 3D data at very high resolution (> 15 pts/m² in bathy) and precision (better than 10 cm for the bathy) down to 5-6 meters depth, with a perfectly continuous topography to bathymetry transition. This presentation will illustrate how this new type of data, when combined with 2D hydraulics modelling offers news insights into the spatial variations of friction in relation to channel bedforms, and the connectivity between rivers and floodplains.
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Contributor : Isabelle Dubigeon <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, March 14, 2018 - 2:08:34 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, October 14, 2020 - 4:17:00 AM


  • HAL Id : insu-01731639, version 1


Dimitri Lague, Launeau Patrick, Emmanuel Gouraud. Synoptic channel morphodynamics with topo-bathymetric airborne lidar: promises, pitfalls and research needs . American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting 2017, Dec 2017, New Orleans, United States. pp.EP41A-1816. ⟨insu-01731639⟩



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