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Kootenai River Topobathymetric Lidar Validation Survey Data


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Irwin, J.R., Danielson, J.J., Kim, M., and Fosness, R.L., 2021, Kootenai River Topobathymetric Lidar Validation Survey Data: U.S. Geological Survey data release,


U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists conducted field data collection efforts during the week of September 25 – 29, 2017, using a combination of conventional surveying technologies, for a large stretch of the Kootenai River near Bonners Ferry, Idaho. The work was initiated as an effort to validate commercially acquired topobathymetric light detection and ranging (lidar) data. The goal was to compare the airborne lidar data to topographic and bathymetric data collected through more traditional means (e.g. waded Real-Time Kinematic Global Navigation Satellite System (RTK-GNSS) surveys). The validated topobathymetric lidar data will be used for hydrologic modeling, assessment and restoration of aquatic habitat, sediment transport modeling, [...]


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Airborne topobathymetric lidar can provide high-quality topographic and bathymetric information over large areas. Lidar is an active remote sensing technology that employs laser ranging in near-infrared (1064 nm) and green spectral (532 nm) wavelengths to provide three-dimensional (3D) point information for objects, including the Earth’s ground surface, submerged topography, vegetation, and infrastructure. USGS 3DEP seeks to acquire and evaluate topobathymetric lidar over select pilot areas within the conterminous U.S. Detailed knowledge of integrated river system topography and bathymetry is essential for key science applications such as inundation mapping, habitat characterization, and fluvial geomorphology. A series of field accuracy assessment surveys, using conventional surveying methods, were conducted at test sites along the Kootenai River near Bonners Ferry, Idaho to evaluate the 3D absolute and relative accuracy of airborne topobathymetric lidar. Airborne lidar data accuracy is most commonly expressed in terms of the vertical error (RMSEz) of the Digital Elevation Model (DEM) generated from the lidar points that are classified as ground points or submerged topography, with little or no regard to the horizontal accuracy of the point cloud. High-accuracy 3D point data are necessary to estimate the 3D accuracy of airborne lidar data. This requires validation data that are three times more accurate than the airborne lidar data, such as point data collected from survey grade GNSS and total station instruments. The survey data were used to spatially assess the horizontal and vertical accuracy of the Kootenai River airborne topobathymetric lidar data that were coincidentally collected for 3DEP along with validating the vertical accuracy of the integrated National Terrain Model (NTM) prototype DEM. This research will help 3DEP work toward operationalizing topobathymetric lidar by providing recommendations regarding topobathy lidar sensor performance and suitable site conditions for potential river acquisition surveys.

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DOI doi:10.5066/P9UXNVNJ

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