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Extraction of tidal channel networks from airborne scanning laser altimetry and aerial photography

Mason, D. C. ORCID:, Wang, H.-J. and Lohani, B. (2003) Extraction of tidal channel networks from airborne scanning laser altimetry and aerial photography. In: Serpico, S. B. (ed.) Image and Signal Processing for Remote Sensing. SPIE Proceedings, 8 (4885). SPIE Press, Bellingham, WA, pp. 162-169.

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1117/12.463200


The study of the morphodynamics of tidal channel networks is important because of their role in tidal propagation and the evolution of salt-marshes and tidal flats. Channel dimensions range from tens of metres wide and metres deep near the low water mark to only 20-30cm wide and 20cm deep for the smallest channels on the marshes. The conventional method of measuring the networks is cumbersome, involving manual digitising of aerial photographs. This paper describes a semi-automatic knowledge-based network extraction method that is being implemented to work using airborne scanning laser altimetry (and later aerial photography). The channels exhibit a width variation of several orders of magnitude, making an approach based on multi-scale line detection difficult. The processing therefore uses multi-scale edge detection to detect channel edges, then associates adjacent anti-parallel edges together to form channels using a distance-with-destination transform. Breaks in the networks are repaired by extending channel ends in the direction of their ends to join with nearby channels, using domain knowledge that flow paths should proceed downhill and that any network fragment should be joined to a nearby fragment so as to connect eventually to the open sea.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Environmental Systems Science Centre
ID Code:5889
Additional Information:Paper delivered at the 8th Image and Signal Processing for Remote Sensing conference, Crete, September 2002.
Publisher:SPIE Press


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