Comparing Photogrammetric and Spectral Depth Techniques in Extracting Bathymetric Data from a Gravel-Bed River
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Recent advances in through-water photogrammetry and optical imagery indicate that accurate, continuous bathymetric mapping may be possible in shallow, clear streams. This research directly compares the ability of through-water photogrammetry and spectral depth approaches to extract water depth for monitoring fish habitat. Imagery and cross sections were collected on a 140 meter reach of the Salmon River, Oregon, using an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and rtk-GPS. Structure-from-Motion (SfM) software produced a digital elevation model (DEM) (1.5 cm) and orthophoto (0.37 cm). The photogrammetric approach of applying a site-specific refractive index provided the most accurate (mean error 0.009 m) and precise (standard deviation of error 0.17 m) bathymetric data (R2 = 0.67) over the spectral depth and the 1.34 refractive index approaches. This research provides a quantitative comparison between and within bathymetric mapping methods, and suggests that a site-specific refractive index may be appropriate for similar gravel-bed, relatively shallow, clear streams.