Title

Can drone imagery be used to predict riparian shading?

Presenter Information

Alex WoolenFollow

Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Graduate

Major

Watershed Science

List all Project Mentors & Advisor(s)

Haluk Cetin, PhD

Presentation Format

Event

Abstract/Description

The purpose of this study was to test whether or not the degree of stream shading can be predicted using aerial imagery collected with an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV or drone) in the spring, before deciduous trees have grown leaves for the year. In the months when deciduous trees are leafless, drones can capture better images of the stream itself, because leaves block less of the stream from the camera. Assessing whether or not these images can predict the amount of shading in the summer time will be valuable information. In the spring of 2018 I used a UAV to capture imagery of the entire length of Kimball Creek in western Colorado. I have created image mosaics and digital elevation models (DEMs) from this imagery which clearly show the elevation of objects like trees and incised banks near the stream. These high resolution DEMs were used to measure the amount of near-stream objects which have the potential to shade the stream. I then used linear models to test whether these measurements are capable of predicting on-the-ground measurements of stream shading taken in the summer after trees had leafed out for the year. Results of the final analysis are pending. If UAV imagery has the capability to produce good estimates of stream shading from winter imagery then they are even more useful than previously thought.

Fall Scholars Week 2018 Event

Earth and Environmental Sciences Poster Session

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Can drone imagery be used to predict riparian shading?

The purpose of this study was to test whether or not the degree of stream shading can be predicted using aerial imagery collected with an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV or drone) in the spring, before deciduous trees have grown leaves for the year. In the months when deciduous trees are leafless, drones can capture better images of the stream itself, because leaves block less of the stream from the camera. Assessing whether or not these images can predict the amount of shading in the summer time will be valuable information. In the spring of 2018 I used a UAV to capture imagery of the entire length of Kimball Creek in western Colorado. I have created image mosaics and digital elevation models (DEMs) from this imagery which clearly show the elevation of objects like trees and incised banks near the stream. These high resolution DEMs were used to measure the amount of near-stream objects which have the potential to shade the stream. I then used linear models to test whether these measurements are capable of predicting on-the-ground measurements of stream shading taken in the summer after trees had leafed out for the year. Results of the final analysis are pending. If UAV imagery has the capability to produce good estimates of stream shading from winter imagery then they are even more useful than previously thought.