RiverView: Another Point of View for Remote Sensing

Submitted by atripp on Tue, 03/31/2020 - 15:25

BOR is a key partner in the Trinity River Restoration Program (TRRP), located in far northern California. Remote sensing for the TRRP includes annual high-resolution aerial photography (0.5-foot pixel resolution), which provides a standard point of view for detecting morphological and vegetation changes to the river channel and floodplain. Periodic aerial lidar and sonar bathymetry adds a third dimension for analysis of channel form dynamics. TRRP also characterizes complex, dynamic channel areas with terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) or Structure-from-Motion (SfM) photogrammetry using both ground-based photography and Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS; through collaboration with the Yurok Tribal Fisheries Department). However, many important riverine processes such as woody debris recruitment and log jam formation are difficult to detect in aerial photography due to overhanging riparian vegetation. These resolve poorly at the scale of lidar and sonar topography and can be intermittent or widespread such that targeted photogrammetry is impractical.

RiverView adds an additional point of view that aids detection of riverine features and provides validation of change detection or other analyses done from an aerial point of view. RiverView was developed by the TRRP using a spherical camera to capture over 1,200 “photospheres,” or 360-degree views, of a 40-mile section of river channel while recording location and bearing from a global positioning system (GPS) and an electronic compass. The photospheres are linked in a website that provides a continuous virtual float down the river with nearly 100% coverage of the river channel and banks from a point of view beneath the vegetation canopy.

RiverView uses geographically linked photospheres to provide an oblique perspective of river banks from beneath the canopy of riparian vegetation. This perspective can reveal important riverine processes that are not easily detected from above the canopy, such as the recruitment of wood into the river channel.

Author Name
Eric Peterson
Author Email