4D-SFM PHOTOGRAMMETRY FOR MONITORING SEDIMENT DYNAMICS IN A DEBRIS-FLOW CATCHMENT: SOFTWARE TESTING AND RESULTS COMPARISON
Keywords: 4D-SfM Photogrammetry, Sediment dynamics monitoring, Software comparison, Debris flow hazard
Abstract. In recent years, the combination of Structure-from-Motion (SfM) algorithms and UAV-based aerial images has revolutionised 3D topographic surveys for natural environment monitoring, offering low-cost, fast and high quality data acquisition and processing. A continuous monitoring of the morphological changes through multi-temporal (4D) SfM surveys allows, e.g., to analyse the torrent dynamic also in complex topography environment like debris-flow catchments, provided that appropriate tools and procedures are employed in the data processing steps. In this work we test two different software packages (3DF Zephyr Aerial and Agisoft Photoscan) on a dataset composed of both UAV and terrestrial images acquired on a debris-flow reach (Moscardo torrent – North-eastern Italian Alps). Unlike other papers in the literature, we evaluate the results not only on the raw point clouds generated by the Structure-from- Motion and Multi-View Stereo algorithms, but also on the Digital Terrain Models (DTMs) created after post-processing. Outcomes show differences between the DTMs that can be considered irrelevant for the geomorphological phenomena under analysis. This study confirms that SfM photogrammetry can be a valuable tool for monitoring sediment dynamics, but accurate point cloud post-processing is required to reliably localize geomorphological changes.