INTEGRATED PROCESSING OF HIGH RESOLUTION TOPOGRAPHIC DATA FOR SOIL EROSION ASSESSMENT CONSIDERING DATA ACQUISITION SCHEMES AND SURFACE PROPERTIES
Keywords: UAV photogrammetry, TLS, data fusion, scan geometry, surface roughness, soil erosion
Abstract. Soil erosion is a decisive earth surface process strongly influencing the fertility of arable land. Several options exist to detect soil erosion at the scale of large field plots (here 600 m²), which comprise different advantages and disadvantages depending on the applied method. In this study, the benefits of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) photogrammetry and terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) are exploited to quantify soil surface changes. Beforehand data combination, TLS data is co-registered to the DEMs generated with UAV photogrammetry. TLS data is used to detect global as well as local errors in the DEMs calculated from UAV images. Additionally, TLS data is considered for vegetation filtering. Complimentary, DEMs from UAV photogrammetry are utilised to detect systematic TLS errors and to further filter TLS point clouds in regard to unfavourable scan geometry (i.e. incidence angle and footprint) on gentle hillslopes. In addition, surface roughness is integrated as an important parameter to evaluate TLS point reliability because of the increasing footprints and thus area of signal reflection with increasing distance to the scanning device. The developed fusion tool allows for the estimation of reliable data points from each data source, considering the data acquisition geometry and surface properties, to finally merge both data sets into a single soil surface model. Data fusion is performed for three different field campaigns at a Mediterranean field plot. Successive DEM evaluation reveals continuous decrease of soil surface roughness, reappearance of former wheel tracks and local soil particle relocation patterns.