Evaluation of short-term geomorphic changes along the Tagliamento river using LiDAR and terrestrial laser scanner surveys

Rainato R.; Picco L. L.; Cavalli M.; Mao L. L.; Delai F.; Ravazzolo D.; Lenzi M.A., 2013, Evaluation of short-term geomorphic changes along the Tagliamento river using LiDAR and terrestrial laser scanner surveys, Journal of agricultural engineering (Pisa) 44 (2013): 80–84. doi_10.4081/jae.2013.(s1):e15,
URL: http://www.cnr.it/prodotto/i/340087

In the recent years a change in the predominant morphology of several river environments has taken place, consisting in a reduction of the braided pattern in favor to wandering or straight configurations. This evolution seems to be due, according to the scientific community, to anthropic causes and, in particular, to the alteration of flow regimes as well as the reduction of sediment transport. Braided rivers are characterized by two or more active channels, separated by bars and fluvial islands and normally feature a high morphological dynamism. This dynamism is the result of the interaction among different elements as sediment supply, flow regime and in-channel and perifluvial vegetation. These factors have a fundamental role in the erosion and deposition processes which are the basis of the morphological changes. The aims of this study are the assessment of the short period geomorphic and volumetric changes occurred along a reach of the Tagliamento River and the comparison between the results obtained from LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) and TLS (Terrestrial Laser Scanner) data. The Tagliamento river is a natural gravel-bed river located in the NE of Italy, characterized by a relatively low degree of human disturbances. The analyses were carried out considering two different scales (a reach of about 430 ha and a sub-reach of about 25 ha) and were based on two subsequent datasets in order to investigate the shortterm geomorphic changes due to eight significant floods. The surveys were performed using two different datasets derived from LiDAR and TLS technologies and used to analyze the reach and sub-reach respectively. The short-term estimates of geomorphic and volumetric changes were performed using DEMs of Difference (DoD) based on a Fuzzy Inference System. The results have confirmed the high dynamism of the Tagliamento river, estimating a prevalent deposition at reach and a predominant erosion at sub-reach levels. Finally, a comparative qualitative assessment of the output derived from the different data sources was performed, showing little differences between the two survey methods that proved to be both precise and reliable.

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