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Automated mapping of culverts, bridges, and dams

August 11, 2023

Accurate maps of built structures around stream channels, such as dams, culverts, and bridges, are vital in monitoring infrastructure, risk management, and hydrologic modeling. Hydrologic modeling is essential for research and decisionmaking related to infrastructure and development planning, emergency management, ecology, and developing hydrographic data. Technological advances in remote sensing afford increasingly fine-scale elevation data, such as the U.S. Geological Survey 1-meter digital elevation models (DEMs), that can accurately model the Earth’s surface characteristics and related hydrologic dynamics. A long-standing challenge in flow modeling is the presence of built structures in an elevation model that resist flow in a way that does not reflect actual dynamics, such as culverts, bridges, and dams. This challenge is exacerbated in fine-scale elevation data as more built structures are resolved. Here we present a test of the extensibility of a culvert and dam detection workflow, culvert-net (CN). CN was developed using a large dataset of field-validated culverts, bridges, and dam locations for Alexander County, North Carolina, USA, supplemented by manual review and identification of additional features. In this workflow, the CN model is tested on a new study area in western Michigan, USA, where culverts and associated hydrography have recently been manually compiled.

Publication Year 2023
Title Automated mapping of culverts, bridges, and dams
DOI 10.5194/ica-abs-6-231-2023
Authors Ethan J. Shavers, Larry Stanislawski, Joel Schott, Zachary Brosseau
Publication Type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Index ID 70250395
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization NGTOC Rolla