Most airborne topographic light detection and ranging (lidar) systems operate within the near-infrared spectrum. Laser pulses from these systems frequently are absorbed by water and therefore do not generate reflected returns on water bodies in the resulting void regions within the lidar point cloud. Thus, an analysis of lidar voids has implications for identifying water bodies. Data analysis techniques to detect reduced lidar return densities were evaluated for test sites in Blackhawk County, Iowa, and Beltrami County, Minnesota, to delineate contiguous areas that have few or no lidar returns. Results from this study indicated a 5-meter radius moving window with fewer than 23 returns (28 percent of the moving window) was sufficient for delineating void regions. Techniques to provide elevation values for void regions to flatten water features and to force channel flow in the downstream direction also are presented.
|Title||Lidar point density analysis: implications for identifying water bodies|
|Authors||Bruce B. Worstell, Sandra K. Poppenga, Gayla A. Evans, Sandra Prince|
|Publication Subtype||USGS Numbered Series|
|Series Title||Scientific Investigations Report|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center|