The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XLI-B5
15 Jun 2016
 | 15 Jun 2016


N. Tilly, D. Kelterbaum, and R. Zeese

Keywords: Terrestrial laser scanning, UAV-based imaging, 3D data, Digital elevation model, High-resolution mapping, Karst landscape, Surface monitoring

Abstract. High-resolution digital elevation models (DEMs) are useful for the detailed mapping of geomorphological features. Nowadays various sensors and platforms are available to collect 3D data. The presented study compares terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) and low-cost unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV)-based imaging in terms of their usability for capturing small-scale surface structures. In October 2014 and June 2015 measurements with both systems were carried out in an episodically water-filled karst depression under pasture farming in the region of Hohenlohe (Southwest Germany). The overall aims were to establish high-resolution DEMs and monitor changes of the relief caused by dissolution and compare the advantages and drawbacks of both systems for such studies. Due to the short time between the campaigns the clear detection of temporal changes was hardly possible. However, the multi-temporal campaigns allowed an extensive investigation of the usability of both sensors under different environmental conditions. In addition to the remote sensing measurements, the coordinates of several positions in the study area were measured with a RTK-DGPS system as independent reference data sets in both campaigns. The TLS- and UAV-derived DEM heights at these positions were validated against the DGPS-derived heights. The accuracy of the TLS-derived values is supported by low mean differences between TLS and DGPS measurements while the UAV-derived models show a weaker performance. In the future years additional simultaneous measurements with both approaches under more similar vegetation conditions are necessary to detect surface movements. Moreover, by investigating the subsurface the interaction of above and below ground processes might be detected.