Mapping Emergent Sandbars with a Small Unmanned Aerial System

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This pilot project utilized the gMAV (T-Hawk) UAS system equipped with a high-resolution digital camera to map the spatial extent and elevation of emergent sandbars along two reaches of the Platte River. The reaches are west and east of Overton, Nebraska, and are referred to as the Dyer and Cottonwood Ranch Properties, respectively. Both properties are managed by the Platte River Recovery Program and are sites of pilot sediment augmentation projects. These projects are intended to evaluate strategies to offset deficiencies in sediment supply caused by upstream water regulation infrastructure. Ground control will be established at the field sites so that orthophotographs and digital elevation models can be created of the emergent sandbars. Conventional real-time kinematic Global Positioning Systems surveys will be used to compare and demonstrate the accuracy, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness of mapping emergent sandbars with a UAS.

Author Name
Paul Kinzel
Author Email