Abstract: Session E  1:20 pm (Back to Session E)
Applying Relative Elevation Mapping for Assessment, Monitoring, and Restoration Planning

Dave Sutherland
Fairplay, CO

Authors: David Sutherland and Jessica Doran

“Drones” or unmanned aerial systems (UAS) are emerging as a valuable tool in the field of stream and riparian restoration for site assessment, monitoring and restoration planning.  The use of in-house UAS technologies allows for greater flexibility, affordability, timeliness, better data resolution, and product control compared to more conventional large-platform photogrammetric mapping methods. A comprehensive geodetic approach and thorough understanding of the advantages and limitations of UAS scale mapping ensures proper application to various types of restoration projects.

This presentation provides project examples to outline the process of using UAS to develop relative elevation maps (REMs) that identify and plan treatments (relic landforms), predict the effect of treatments (inundation mapping), and track changes through monitoring (pre- and post-project aerial imagery, vegetation and habitat mapping, channel activation, etc.).  By incorporating UAS data products into a geographic information system (GIS), project-specific queries can be used to research pre-project design concerns, and/or target post-project monitoring objectives.

Throughout the presentation, practical steps to assure quality control and appropriate application of UAS methodologies will be discussed. The presentation will also briefly touch on future developments in UAS platform technologies that promise innovative options for expanding UAS use in stream and riparian applications.